Kerry and the lovely people at Avon have shared an extract with us today. Enjoy!
That was three hours ago. I prayed I’d be able to hold on all night. I perched on the mattress, sitting with as little buttock touching it as possible. I wondered if Alicia was asleep. I hated the thought of her going to school in the morning all strung out and exhausted. The memory of her bewildered face as the police marched me away, that teenage bravado long gone, threatened my fragile composure. I hoped she’d heard me shout, ‘Don’t worry, darling, it’s just a bit of a misunderstanding,’ over my shoulder as I ducked into the squad car. I hoped – probably in vain – that Scott had been more interested in comforting her than making sure she understood that ‘I’d driven him to it’.
There was no air. Every time someone opened the door outside in the corridor, the smell of stale urine wafted around. I saw the occasional shadow move past the opaque window to the outside, convincing myself every time that it must be Scott coming to save me. A man was singing ‘Why are we waiting?’ in the cell opposite. Whoever was next to me was trying to batter the door down.
A fetid gust signalled the arrival of someone. The metal shutter was pulled back. Then a dark-haired policeman I hadn’t seen before came in, carrying a paper cup. Another person to feel humiliated in front of. Sitting there in a garb more suitable for carrying out a crime scene investigation made normal interaction impossible. I didn’t even dress up for fancy dress parties. The hairs on my arms lifted with static as I crossed them over my chest.
‘Are you OK?’ His voice was gentle. None of Pikestaff’s hostility.
I shrugged, then nodded.
‘Here.’ He handed me the tea. ‘Can I give you a word of advice? Don’t turn down the duty solicitor.’
‘Why? I shouldn’t even be here.’
‘I’d have one, just in case. It can be a bit weird on your own the first time. It is your first time, isn’t it?’
‘Yes.’ I wanted to add, Of course.
‘Get someone to help you who knows the ropes. I shouldn’t tell you this, but they’ve taken a statement from your husband.’ He bit his lip and glanced at the door. ‘He’s going to press charges.’
I didn’t think anything Scott did could shock me any more. I was wrong. Just a day ago I’d thought we were in a calm period. We’d discussed Scott’s next trip to Australia to check up on one of his building ventures, had a curry and watched the news. Then we’d gone upstairs and had sex, good sex.
And now he wanted to take me to court.
Our verdict on The Island Escape:
(Review by Helen Jackson.)
About The Island Escape:
It’s time to get back to where it all began…
Octavia Sheldon thought she’d have a different life. One where she travelled the world with an exotic husband and free-spirited children in tow. But things didn’t turn out quite like that.
Married to safe, reliable Jonathan, her life now consists of packed lunches, school runs and more loads of dirty washing than she ever thought possible. She’s not unhappy. It’s just that she can barely recognise herself any longer.
So as Octavia watches her best friend’s marriage break up, it starts her thinking. What if life could be different? What if she could escape and get back to the person she used to be? Escape back to the island where she spent her summers? And what if the man she used to love was there waiting for her…?
The blurb on the back makes you think that the story is about Octavia, but for me it was about Roberta, her best friend whose marriage was breaking down.
My feelings for Octavia were mixed, I spent a lot of the book not particularly liking her very much – her best friend was going through hell, while she was in a seemingly happy marriage with happy children, but had itchy feet. This meant she wasn’t very sympathetic to her best friend, which I found hard because I loved Roberta. But maybe halfway through I changed my opinion, I don’t know what did it, but suddenly I found I liked her. She should have been happy, but not everything is how it seems to the outside, and the picture she painted wasn’t how she felt inside. I was really happy with how things turned out for her, and her family.
Roberta on the other hand, I liked from the off. The book opens with her worrying about being in the wrong bra for sitting in a police cell. How can you not like her for that from the go? It’s heart-breaking for her when her marriage falls apart, and I was totally behind her and cheering her on, or willing her not to do things. I really liked her. When she started to find rays of sunshine in her life, I was truly happy for her, like I would be for my best friend.
Roberta’s husband Scott was a great bad guy, which I loved to hate.
Octavia’s escape to the island actually took up very little of the book, but what happened there was the most important and led to the rest of the book.
The final chapter was three years later, and the perfect ending to the novel.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and would thoroughly recommend it. I’ve not read The School Gate Survival Guide, also by Fisher, but I’ll definitely be looking it up.
The Island Escape (released by Avon on 21st May 2015) is available in most UK bookshops and online. Click to view at Amazon UK.