|Photo: Simon Howden|
Anyway, I was really excited to browse through the Kindle store, and my first purchase was On the Island by Tracy Garvis Graves. Now, I want to be totally upfront and let you know that I am a sucker for deserted island/castaway books--I even did my graduate thesis on comparing Lord of the Flies and John Dollar (girl version of Lord of the Flies in case you haven't read it) to the story of the Garden of Eden (focusing on the story elements, not the religious meaning). Now, this novel is completely different than these two I mentioned because of the male/female dynamic, but you can throw almost any combination of people onto an island and I will be intrigued (talk about a Petri dish for studying human behavior! Yes, please!).
This novel did not disappoint. The bizarre circumstances that Graves creates to set up this tale are plausible and allows for a slew of moments that test the moral code of Anna, the 30-year-old teacher on her way to meet the family of a teenage boy that she would tutor all summer because he had Hodgkin's Disease and missed a lot of school. The family went a few days early to the Maldvies, which means Anna and T.J., the disgruntled 16-year-old boy who is pissed he has to leave all his friends when he just got healthy, fly over together.
The plane crashes, the pilot dies, leaving the two of them stranded. For years, they just survive, hunting for food, building shelters, keeping a fire going.
I won't ruin it for you, but just imagine after two-plus years, no rescue in sight (they've only seen two planes fly over so far), and barely any clothing left, human nature takes over.
What happens after they cross the line serves as a lesson about the power of love and the belief that it can overcome any obstacles if its the real thing.
I WILL seek out other books by Graves, and I highly recommend this book. Let me know what you think!