ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Island Home by Libby Page
I’m so pleased today to be sharing my thoughts about The Island Home by Libby Page. My thanks to Virginia Woolstencraft from Orion for the proof copy of the book for review purposes. It will be published in hardcover, eBook and audiobook on 24th June.
Lorna’s world is small but safe.
She loves her daughter, and the two of them is all that matters. But after nearly twenty years, she and Ella are suddenly leaving London for the Isle of Kip, the tiny remote Scottish island where Lorna grew up.
Alice’s world is tiny but full.
She loves the community on Kip, her yoga classes drawing women across the tiny island together. Now Lorna’s arrival might help their family finally mend itself – even if forgiveness means returning to the past…
So with two decades, hundreds of miles and a lifetime’s worth of secrets between Lorna and the island, can coming home mean starting again?
When I heard that Libby Page’s new book was set on a remote Scottish island I was so excited. Having enjoyed her previous novels I was keen to get stuck into The Island Home.
The story begins with Lorna and her 13 year old daughter, Ella, about to board the sleeper train to Fort William, before taking another train and a ferry to the tiny island of Kip, Lorna’s childhood home. From this moment I was absolutely spellbound by the idea of the island. Lorna is going back there after 22 years away and is wondering how she will ever be able to mend the broken ties she left behind.
The chapters alternate between Lorna’s perspective and Alice’s. Alice is not a native islander, but a local one, somebody who has lived there for 5 years or more. But she’s completely absorbed in island life and the worries over how it can continue are preying on her mind. I thought the contrast of moving between chapters from a native who left the island, and a local who came to the island and doesn’t want to leave worked really well.
I loved the sense of community on the island and how everybody pulled together when they needed to and how they welcomed Lorna back after such a long time away. I did find the story quite sad and I would describe the first third to half as sorrowful but as always happens with me and this author, the story crept up on me and I realised that the threads she had cast out had started to weave together and completely draw me in to the lives of these lovely people.
I honestly didn’t realise how fragile island life might be and it really came through how everybody has their place and when one of the pieces of the puzzle is lost it jeopardises everything. Page has written very sympathetically about remote living and also about childhood problems and I was moved to tears several times.
When I closed The Island Home I was left feeling really happy, both for the characters and for me having read such a delightful book. I was completely transported to Kip and adored the setting so much. The author brought it to life for me and gave me a touch of wanderlust. I want to go to Kip! This is such a gorgeous story of home and what it means.
Libby Page is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido and The 24-Hour Café. The Island is her third novel. Before becoming an author, she worked in journalism and marketing. She is a keen outdoor swimmer and lives in London with her husband. Follow Libby on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @libbypagewrites.