Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Island - Victoria Hislop

I think if I had to describe this book in one word it would be....


Although I don’t even think that word covers it. Beautiful feels a little wishy washy but it is the best I can come up with I’m afraid.

But you see it is beautiful. It transports you to Crete as you get swept up in the story. You can feel the heat beating down on you, see the glistening of the sea, feel the cool shade inside the houses on the leper colony of Spinalonga.

Excuse me?

Oh yes did I not mention? This book is about leprosy.

Ha. No it isn’t. Not really.

It’s about love. And family. The whole leper thing is just a setting, albeit a tragic one.

I think sometimes getting tarred with the Richard & Judy Book Club brush can be a blessing and a damnation. Yes your book will be read more widely but people who are snobby about their books (and there are so many) will immediately dismiss you.

No it isn’t taxing on the brain. It probably won’t rock your world entirely. But nor should it just be dismissed as a ‘beach read’ because I think to give it that title doesn’t do it justice.

I can’t deny the fact that I was completely lost in it and that I found it really difficult to put it down, even though I knew what was coming. There has to be something in that surely?

People can be so keen to show off their knowledge of all the great books that they’ve read that sometimes they forget what pleasure you can get from just reading a really nice story. Does a novel have to challenge you to be good? Does it have to be nominated for a Booker?

Hell to the no.

Victoria Hislop’s writing was wonderful in my opinion and I liked it so much that I have bought her second book The Return just to check if The Island was a fluke or if she really is that good.

Want to read a nice story that will captivate you? Read this. Especially on these cold winter nights, I think we need a little bit of Cretan sunshine.

1 comment:

Flitterbee said...

How about warm summer days?

I might just purchase this if I see it somewhere. Second hand, only, natch.

I should probably stop commenting about books. Especially if you come and respond to these comments, I won't remember where I've been.

I'll let you know if I get through any others on the list though.