30 Novels Featuring Islands - Explore Fantastical Locations, Solve a Crime, or Sink into a Beautiful Romance

In these 30 works of fiction you can explore islands, from small pieces of land walkable in a day through to those just large enough to call themselves a country. These places can feel outside of time, full of community spirit, or extraordinarily remote and isolated. Here you can walk through time, travel into fantastical locations, burrow into a crime, or sink into a beautiful romance. You’ll find a whole host of genres waiting along side a sense of place that allows you to really feel and inhabit these islands.

The Castaways

The Castaways

Author: Lucy Clarke Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/03/2021

Oh my word, as I sank into the pages of this brilliantly addictive psychological thriller I actually forgot that I was reviewing and just read for pure pleasure. Sisters Lori and Erin are travelling to a remote part of Fiji for a holiday, after an argument before the final inter-island flight, only one leaves on the small plane, which then goes missing. Lucy Clarke takes psychological thrillers to a whole new level. I adored You Let Me In, and The Castaways now ensures she is a must-read author for me. Set in two time frames, as the story progresses ‘Then’ inches, then hurtles towards ‘Now’. Each change in time frame felt like a hammer blow before I was immediately gathered up in the story again. The most exquisite tension builds and thrums with increasing intensity. The release of information is so clever, almost teasing, and I balanced on a razor sharp wire of awareness. I felt a deep connection with the sisters, their relationship was wonderfully complex yet tangible. If you love intelligent, yet hugely entertaining psychological thrillers, then put this to the top of your list. Chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, The Castaways really is the most compulsive, enthralling and beautifully written tale, it’s a 2021 sure-fire winner. The LoveReading LitFest invited Lucy Clarke to the festival to talk about The Castaways.  The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.

Star Books
Flames

Flames

Author: Robbie Arnott Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/2019

When Levi and Charlotte McAllister’s mother dies, she suffers the post-death fate experienced by many a McAllister woman. After cremation, she re-appears and bursts into flame on the lawn. Fearing his sister is headed for the same end, Levi swears to “bury her whole and still and cold”, which prompts Charlotte to flee southward “towards the bottom of the earth”. What follows is a cleverly twisting story that crackles with intrigue and invention as the lives of an assortment of compelling characters collide. There’s the wildly eccentric coffin maker Levi commissions to make Charlotte’s casket, and the hard-drinking female detective he employs to track her down. There’s the wombat-farmer slipping into insanity, and the young woman who works for him and changes Charlotte’s life. Raw and real, yet also suffused in otherworldly magic, the author has conjured an elemental mythological landscape alongside the true-world Tasmanian setting. I raced through these blistering pages, but this is a book I shall undoubtedly return to.

Star Books
Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables

Author: L. M. Montgomery Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2021

Part of Wordsworth’s Exclusive Collection (a series of 15 classics for all ages), this gorgeous gift edition bind-up of Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea boasts embossed gold foiling and an attractive bespoke cover illustration. Anne is truly an adorable, endearing, inspiring character, and her life at Green Gables after being taken in by the Cuthberts is evoked with lively detail, atmosphere and emotion. While prone to creating chaos, impossibly romantic, and headstrong (often self-destructively so), Anne has the hugest of hearts and reading this book - the first two novels in the series - is guaranteed to have readers hooked on her exploits as she moves from girlhood to womanhood. If you’ve yet to read these enchanting, amusing, heart-stealing classics, now’s your chance to enjoy a stunning edition at an attractive price. 

The Dead of Winter

The Dead of Winter

Author: Nicola Upson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2021

This incredibly engaging and entertaining murder mystery set in 1938 just crackles with energy and would make a perfect Christmas read. Josephine Tey and DCI Archie Penrose spend Christmas at St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, a world famous film star and two deaths throw the festivities into disarray. This is the ninth in the Josephine Tey novels, however you can easily, and quite perfectly read it as standalone. Josephine Tey was a pseudonym used by writer Elizabeth MacKintosh, and just out of interest, her book The Daughter Of Time was named as the greatest crime novel of all time by the Crime Writers’ Association back in 1990. Using the real life crime writer Tey as one of the main characters works incredibly well, so do consider going back and starting at the beginning of the series with An Expert in Murder if you’ve not yet met her. The prologue for The Dead of Winter unsettles and creates intrigue before Nicola Upson sets snippets of information about Hitler and the war free to create a tone that settles over the novel.The characters are introduced with aplomb, St Micheal’s Mount and the weather are rather menacing, while the plot zips and darts along. A couple of maps also help proceedings (I love a good map!). Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month, if you love the Golden Age of Crime, and enjoy the thought of a Christmas mystery then I can wholeheartedly recommend The Dead of Winter to you.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Castle of Water

Castle of Water

Author: Dane Huckelbridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

April 2017 Debut of the Month. An emotional, heart-stopping, and mesmerising debut novel. 34 year old retired banker and burgeoning artist Barry from New York, and 28 year old just-married Parisian architect Sophie, are the sole survivors of a plane crash in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Stranded on a small uninhabited island, with only themselves and a small survival kit for company, can they withstand the trials that nature and the universe hurls at them? Chapter one was an unexpected and intriguing start, setting questions hovering in my mind, before I was propelled straight into the middle of a boiling, seething mass of water. Dane Huckelbridge’s clear, strong writing planted me firmly on the island, I witnessed shock, awe, and fear, laughter blurted out of me, I looked up at the sky, discovered joy, counted the days, felt hearts flutter. ‘Castle of Water’ is a gorgeous, captivating, surprising novel, one that storms your senses, yet encourages whispers of thoughts to escape your mind, and I absolutely loved it. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Guest List

The Guest List

Author: Lucy Foley Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/09/2020

A masterful murder mystery, this folks, is how it is done! A celebrity wedding is taking place on a remote island off the coast of Ireland, but before the celebration finishes, a murder and a storm hit with full force. I’ve adored all of Lucy Foley’s novels, from historical to crime, she is one of my must-read authors. She has used the same fabulous format as in the bestselling The Hunting Party but this still feels fresh, original and very much its own wonderfully distinct creation. I slipped into the storyline, got to know all of the characters, and started to sleuth my way through the secrets and intrigue. And oh what intrigue! The immediate lead up to the reveal made my inner investigator rub gleeful hands. The reveal itself, well, I just want to stand up and applaud Lucy Foley! Addictively readable and immensely satisfying The Guest List has star quality stamped all over it. Chosen as a LoveReading book of the month and LoveReading Star Book, we adore it! Lucy Foley is our Putting Authors in the Picture Feature for February. Check out her Q&A here!

Audiobooks of the Month
Gravity Is the Thing

Gravity Is the Thing

Author: Jaclyn Moriarty Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/01/2020

If books were friends (and more than a few are) then I feel as though I have met the most wonderfully quirky forever friend. Gravity is the Thing is a complete joy of a book, and one that refuses to be pigeonholed into a genre. Abi, a Sydney cafe owner, has been invited to attend a retreat to learn the truth about ‘The Guidebook’, chapters have been arriving since she was a teen, and have kept her company in the darkest of times. The book floats between 1990 and 2010, and as Abi opens up her life, she revisits, examines, and searches for answers. Jaclyn Moriarty writes with the most beautiful eloquence, sharp pointed observations sit alongside the tightest of warm hugs. I wanted to meander, to wander, to eke out my reading time, and yet hoover up the words and the feelings they created in one heady go. I contemplated loss and grief, I smiled, laughed, and believed… oh how I believed! Gravity is the Thing is different (in the best possible way), and I predict that this will be one of my favourite books of the year. So, as well as being one of our Books of the Month, it has also been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book. It really is that gorgeous!  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
Don't Let Go

Don't Let Go

Author: Michel Bussi Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/04/2017

May 2017 Book of the Month. A captivating, fiendishly puzzling crime drama with an exotic, fascinating backdrop. Martial, Liane, and their daughter Sopha are on holiday on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, then Liane disappears and Martial finds himself the only suspect. The main pair in the investigating team are simply fabulous characters, in particular Christos, who would rather sit back with a glass of rum than work for a living. Michel Bussi has the wonderful ability to take you on a completely different journey with each book he writes, yet each is a compelling, high-octane, outstanding read. I found my thoughts tumbling over each other as Bussi took me into the minds of the characters. The daughter Sopha talks in the the first person, creating incredibly intimate and powerful moments in time. Translations of certain local words sit waiting for you, allowing a discovery of the place and people. ‘Don’t Let Go’ twists and writhes, constantly moving forward, tension escalates until the final heart-stopping moments. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Author: Jodi Picoult Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/11/2021

This emotionally intelligent and perceptive novel is hand-on-heart gorgeous. Diana finds herself alone in the Galapagos during the early months of the pandemic while her surgeon boyfriend is back in New York. This is Jodi Picoult at her best, what seems like a simple tale is full of richly beautiful and provocative imaginings. The natural world, our world, sings with celebration. The torment of the pandemic echoes with heartbreak. Relationships, love, awareness of self, the focus is intimate and penetrating and yet feels immense and inclusive to all. I experienced a meaningful connection with the characters and plot, as though I was a part of this story somewhere in the world. And though I had that awareness, the author has the magical ability to open your thoughts and then send them in an entirely unexpected and breathtaking direction. I absolutely adored this book and felt as though it had been written just for me, and yet also for everyone. It connects us all in a time of uncertainty and fear. In a welcoming arms-open-wide hug, the Author’s Note from March 2021 explains her writing story during Covid-19. Charting the raw immeasurable pain of the pandemic, and yet also administering hope and love, Wish You Were Here sits as a LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month. 

Star Books
Ness

Ness

Author: Robert Macfarlane, Stanley Donwood Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2019

This is what a reading experience is all about, Ness touches, tests, pushes, strokes, inspires, and I have given this little book my heart. I have hesitated about explaining the background to Ness, but have decided that to know doesn’t unduly shape thoughts. Orford Ness in Suffolk is a shingle island which is constantly changing due to the sea and weather. It is the site of an abandoned military base where research included nuclear weaponry during the Cold War. The author and illustrator know this place, and have created a powerful lyrical read where nature takes steps to stop a crime against the world. It is a wonderful heady mix of novella and poetry-prose, a fantasy creation of word and illustration that took up lodging in my mind. A hagstone, which allows a veiled glimpse to the future or past, sits centre stage throughout the book, the illustrations by Stanley Donwood allowing a viewing station, a pause, before the next taste of action. The words by Robert Macfarlane sing, they just beg to be spoken, to be heard. As I spoke the words, I had the feeling that I was setting them free, and at the final few pages a shiver of emotion skittered down my arms. Ness is a beautiful yet fierce and frightening call, containing a warning that we should be shrieking from the rooftops. I have chosen it as one of my Liz Robinson Picks of the Month, and a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
We Were Liars

We Were Liars

Author: E. Lockhart Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/05/2014

It takes a brave author to check their reviews on Goodreads, but E. Lockhart has little to worry about having won the Goodreads Choice award in 2014. If you haven’t met the beautiful Sinclair family yet then I suggest now is the time, ahead of the hotly anticipated prequel, Family of Liars, due out in May. I’m a sucker for a mystery, and am a huge fan of YA fiction, and in We Were Liars we try and pluck the truth from a wash of glossy lies as teen Cadence pieces together the trauma of a summer accident that tore her life apart. Selected by Chris Whitaker, Our Spring 2022 Guest Editor. Click here to read the full Guest Editor Piece. * One of our Books of the Year 2014  A gripping story with a brilliantly shocking ending. Rich, beautiful, privileged – the Sinclair clan seem to have it all. For Cadence and her cousins that means long hot summers on their special holiday island. Days of swimming and picnics and parties. But around them swirl the problems of their parents and particularly, the complex issues of their inheritance. When Cadence hits her head in an accident she can’t remember anything about how it might have happened; a whole section of her life is missing. It is only when she goes back to the family island that the truth slowly and painfully becomes clear. Zoella Book Club title Summer 16.  A Piece of Passion from Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large, Hot Key Books   "This has been one of those books that just sucked everybody in from the moment we started reading. E. Lockhart has written a book of contrasts and of many parts, and that is what makes this book so very, very extraordinary and addictive. It is a book that was born to be talked about." Sarah Odedina, Hot Key MD, says: "Everyone at Hot Key Books is so excited and energised by having this breathtaking book on the list. It is a one-sitting heart-pounding read. It is quite simply unique and we know we are going to have a spectacular time bringing it to the attention of readers." In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

eBooks of the Month
The Unravelling

The Unravelling

Author: Polly Crosby Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/01/2022

This gloriously bittersweet and intensely dark novel swims into the very depths of emotion and takes you with it. Tartelin’s new job on near deserted island Dohhalund off the East Anglian coast tests her own grief and the secrets of her employers past. Polly Crosby’s debut novel was the stunning LoveReading Star Book The Illustrated Child. This, her second novel more than lived up to my high expectations, Polly Crosby is most definitely an author to watch. She isn't afraid to slice open, peel back and expose layers of pain, and she does so in the most beautifully eloquent way. I advise taking your time with this novel, step into and soak up the words. A hushed quiet descends, and yet the island, the tone, the words, create a powerful and vivid reality. A sense of unease kept me company as I read, alongside that unease something else embraced me in welcome as I settled in and explored with Tartelin. The two time frames shimmered and almost flexed into one as I read. The story hides, remaining watchful and patient before revealing itself, and oh, that ending! Captivating and uniquely atmospheric, The Unravelling has been chosen as both a LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month.

eBooks of the Month
Nation

Nation

Author: Terry Pratchett Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2009

  Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010. Shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2009   Hugely entertaining, this is a fully envisaged fantasy adventure, which makes serious points about the importance of the past from the master storyteller and author of the hugely popular Discworld series.  Survival! Mau’s world is bowled over and swept away by a towering Tsunami. His past life has vanished and he must build a new life with the scraps he has left. Luckily, someone else has survived too and soon Daphne, or Trouser-Man as Mau calls her, are creating a new Nation building on the bits of knowledge from the past which won’t die away.  The novel has been adapted for the stage – Olivier Theatre at The National Theatre in London - by the controversial playwright Mark Ravenhill. Nation will be the National’s family show opening in November 2009, following the success of previous family-friendly productions, His Dark Materials, Coram Boy and War Horse. Described by National Theatre Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner as “a wonderful book and, I suspect, perfect for an Olivier adaptation”, Nation is set on a desert island following a tsunami which wiped out most of the population.

eBooks of the Month
The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

Author: M. L. Stedman Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Isolated at the tip of Australia as a lighthouse keeper, emotionally traumatised World War I veteran Tom fears for his wife's sanity after her third miscarriage.  Then a boat turns up carrying a dead man and a newborn baby.  They bring the baby girl up as their own.  The repercussions of this on the girl's biological family, and eventually Tom's guilt, are movingly portrayed.  This covers vast themes, moral dilemmas and heartbreaking decisions.  A doom-laden tale which really does make you question the rules as along the way someone has to get very hurt indeed ... but whom, is Tom's dilemma.  Powerful stuff and highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Click below to view the trailer for the film adaptation of this book which opens in the UK on 4 November 2016. The Lovereading view... What a brilliant and memorable debut. Superb characters, heart-rending plot and, set on an island 100 miles from Australia, a uniquely beautiful setting. After the horrors of WW1 Tom finds first solace as a lighthouse keeper and joy as he shares the experience with his young wife. Then one morning a decision they take, seemingly for the best, has devastating consequences. We think this is a perfect book for reading groups.

eBooks of the Month
The Malice of Waves

The Malice of Waves

Author: Mark Douglas-Home Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/09/2016

October 2016 Book of the Month. The third in the gripping ‘Sea Detective Series’ continues to captivate, with the rather wonderful Cal McGill investigating the disappearance of a 14 year old boy from a small private island off the Scottish coast. Cal has changed the name of his company to the appropriate ‘Sea Detective Agency’ and becomes involved in two intertwined cases. Mark Douglas-Home marks the loneliness of remote village life, of close knit communities where secrets told, are secrets exposed to the entire locality. The thoughts and feelings of villagers, a grieving family, police and Cal himself are given voice, all adding to the stewing pot of intrigue and mystery. The ocean depths come powerfully to life in the hands of Douglas-Home, the mysteries of the currents, the research undertaken, all absolutely fascinating… ensuring ‘The Malice of the Waves’ is another super read.

Books of the Month
Wild and Wicked Things

Wild and Wicked Things

Author: Francesca May Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Darkly suggestive and consuming, this historical fantasy novel offers a nod to The Great Gatsby. Annie Mason finds herself in an unknown world of blood magic and murder when she investigates her inheritance. This is set just after the First World War, where witchcraft, which had a huge influence in the war, has been all but banned. At the beginning I wondered if I had entered a realm already formed as I found myself hesitating and searching for information that wasn’t immediately available. However, I soon settled in and immersed myself in the stormy and decadent atmosphere, where the urge to live as large a life as possible after the effects of the war hits hard. The plot bubbled along in the background as the characters took centre stage. While Annie and Emmeline throbbed with energy as they explored their feelings for each other, the secondly characters added real depth and flavour before pulling the story together. Author Francesca May successfully evokes the excess of the time, and also balances the abuse, dark magic, and violence that can be found in the story with the innocence of Annie, love and friendship. Chosen as a Liz Pick of the Month, Wild and Wicked Things successfully steals into thoughts and thoroughly provokes feelings.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Author: William Golding Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

June 2012 Guest Editor Joanne Harris on Lord of the Flies... I first read this when I was ten. It terrified and fascinated me. It still does.   The Lovereading view... William Golding’s iconic and enduring novel is interesting in many ways. Firstly it was a debut book and secondly it was rejected by numerous publishers and editors before it was picked up off the ‘slush-pile’ by a young editor at Faber and Faber. More than 50 years later the schoolboys to savages story is still a relevant, disturbing and shocking comment on the human condition.

eBooks of the Month
The Lost Lights of St Kilda

The Lost Lights of St Kilda

Author: Elisabeth Gifford Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2020

Inspiring, gorgeous, powerful. The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a beautifully written story brimming with guts and determination. When Fred meets Chrissie in 1927 a love flickers into being, the memory of their time together remains with them through the challenging years ahead. This may be described as a love story between two people, it is also a love story about St Kilda, Scotland’s first World Heritage Site. Elisabeth Gifford has used fictional characters in a real setting, with the abandonment of St Kilda and the Second World War adding an incredibly vivid framework to the story. Taking place over forty years, the novel actually starts in 1940 with Fred as a prisoner of war, plotting escape. From here we move backwards and forwards in time, in such a way that the words continued to flow into my awareness and created an intricate patchwork of knowledge and understanding. This love feels real, there is an inner core of strength, hope, and resilience on offer that really spoke to me. I rather fell in love with The Lost Lights of St Kilda, it joins my Liz Robinson picks of the month and comes as highly recommended by me.

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Author: J.M. Barrie Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2018

J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up never gets old itself. While this dazzlingly imaginative story may have been written in another age, the story itself is ageless, and can be enjoyed by all ages too. Children and adults alike will get caught up in the adventure, the magic, and its big themes, among them the value of imagination, the value of courage versus cowardice, and the eternal, universal conflict between wanting to be a child, but having to grow up.  What’s more, this Wordsworth Collector’s Edition - an elegant hardback, with gold foiled frontage, gorgeous cover artwork, and soft-focus line drawings peppered throughout - will make the ideal gift for readers who’ve yet to discover its unique delights. Beautiful Books - Wordsworth Collector's Editions - The latest series for people that love beautiful books.

eBooks of the Month
Sunrise by the Sea

Sunrise by the Sea

Author: Jenny Colgan Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

In a quaint seaside resort, a charming bakery holds the key to another world... Curl up and escape with Jenny Colgan  When she is given the opportunity to move to a remote tidal island off the Cornish Coast, Marisa Rossi decides some peace and quiet might be just what she needs. Since the death of her beloved grandfather back in Italy, she's been struggling to find a way out of her grief. Perhaps this will be the perfect place for her to recuperate. But Mount Polbearne is a far cry from the sleepy little place she was imagining. Between her noisy piano-teaching Russian neighbour and the hustle and bustle of a busy community, Marisa finds solitude is not so easy to come by. Especially when she finds herself somehow involved with a tiny local bakery desperately in need of some new zest to save it . . . 

Books of the Month
The Killing of Polly Carter

The Killing of Polly Carter

Author: Robert Thorogood Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2016

A delightfully intriguing, gently amusing, yet fiendishly tricky murder mystery. This is the second ‘Death in Paradise Novel’ and for fans of the TV series, brings back the eccentric yet brilliant DI Richard Poole. The Saint-Marie policing team investigate the possible suicide of supermodel Polly Carter, however DI Poole believes there may be a more sinister reason for her death. Robert Thorogood writes with a light touch, even though murder is afoot, the first few sentences made me smile and set the tone for this read. I have to admit that I was absolutely certain I had worked everything out, I even felt quite smug… silly silly me! This is a jolly, lead you up the garden path, lark of a novel that harks back to the lovely classic whodunit.

eBooks of the Month
Folk

Folk

Author: Zoe Gilbert Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2019

Step into another world, just on the edge of existence, a fairy tale if you will, but somehow sharper, more vivid, and quite startling as it draws on folklore and oh so human qualities and reactions. On a remote island called Neverness exists a village, we hear the story of the villagers, separate, together, living with and alongside a spellbinding natural world. The author Zoe Gilbert was the winner of the 2014 Costa Short Story Award and this is her debut novel. Each chapter is a story in its own right, yet each leads to the next and the next to make one complete tale. This is a book that tested, pushed and pulled me, as it speared my attention and hurled it aloft. I felt, really felt so many emotions, from deep aching sadness, to bounding wonder, through to discovering warm love in unexpected places. Zoe Gilbert has created a place apart, simple, wild, and stunningly beautifully yet be warned, it has a ferocious bite. If you look, really focus straight ahead, then take your thoughts to the corner of your eye and feel there, just behind you, you may just see a glimpse of Neverness. Or you could settle down, and allow Zoe Gilbert to guide you into a breathtaking world. Folk is one of my picks of the month and I have fallen rather deeply in love with it!

Star Books
Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay

Author: Douglas Skelton Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/03/2019

A thrilling and compelling tale that sits in the centre of a community bound by time and common purpose. Reporter Rebecca Connolly chases a 15-year-old story of murder to an island full of secrets and closed whispered ways. The prologue really hit me with hammer hard precision, full of power and emotion, it released questions buzzing into my mind. Douglas Skelton sets a host of characters, and therefore suspects into play and yet it is easy to get to know the islanders, to feel the effects of the close-knit community. While the murder squats brooding, waiting to be solved, the island life continues and fills the pages with purpose and intent, consequently, this story just feels so incredibly real. I sank into the tale and while drama is never too far away, the authenticity of the sea, the landscape, and the ways of the island surrounded me. Although this is a fictional island, I still want to visit, and that is due to the effect of the descriptive writing on display. Thunder Bay is a dynamic read, full of the wild and loaded with secrets, it is a fabulously gripping story.

The Mercies

The Mercies

Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

Totally, completely, and utterly gorgeous, this is a beautifully written historical relationship tale with real bite. And can I just qualify the word relationship - this is about the relationships with family, community, fear, nature, as well as the more obvious love. A work of fiction inspired by history, the story begins on Christmas Eve in 1617 when a sudden and violent storm takes the lives of forty fishermen, leaving the stunned women folk learning to survive on their remote northerly Norwegian island. Still reeling from the tragedy, their lives turn in the most frightening direction when the King brings in sorcery laws and a commissioner is installed to root out evil. This is Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s debut adult novel, and I feel as though I have been waiting my reading life for it. The prologue hits with a huge sad inevitability. Kiran Millwood Hargrave writes with a sensitive and considerate pen, the descriptions are truly breathtaking. While there are some savage shocks in store, The Mercies is still a warm, thoughtful and touching read. Chosen as a Liz Robinson pick of the month, we also just had to include The Mercies as a LoveReading Star Book too. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Star Books
Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

Sunny Days and Sea Breezes

Author: Carole Matthews Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/05/2021

A wonderfully warm, bright book to escape into, to give yourself up to and just enjoy. Jodie Jackson leaves everything she knows for a houseboat in the Isle of Wight, she soon finds herself falling for the island and its inhabitants, but London is calling and won’t take no for an answer. I always look forward to reading the latest book by Carole Matthews, they wrap me up and give me a massive loving squeeze. Having said that, this isn’t syrupy sweet, oh no, some real life dilemmas and mistakes sneak in to ensure a feeling of connection, that this could be you, or someone you know. I loved Jodie’s voice and how she talks to the reader, it not only created a bond, I ended up feeling as though I had made a brand new friend. Pure, wonderful escapism, Sunny Days and Sea Breezes really is the most lovely relationship tale and I can thoroughly recommend picking up a copy and just allowing yourself to sink into the pages. We simply adored this book in the office and so it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book as well as a Book of the Month.  Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.

Star Books
What Ends

What Ends

Author: Andrew Ladd Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/03/2015

An achingly poignant and touching read, and one that leaves you with a lingering wistful thoughtfulness as you turn the last page. Humans are abandoning and rats are taking over the small Scottish island of Eilean Fior, one guesthouse remains, clinging to life. Detailing four time periods between 1980 and 2002 the focus is on the McCloud family and their feelings of isolation, guilt, responsibility and in some cases, love for their home. The island, while the heart of the story, remains shyly in the background, this is very much a human tale about hidden emotions and feelings. The author has the ability to be extraordinarily expressive without an overflowing of descriptive detailing; he skilfully brings this family and their hopes and dreams to life. At times sorrowful and thought provoking, yet its core retains a beauty as this is a moving and eloquently emotional novel. ~ Liz Robinson   For similar reads: The Railwayman’s Wife by Ashley Hay The Carriage House by Louisa Hall.

The Honeymoon

The Honeymoon

Author: Tina Seskis Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

Oh my, this is intense, shocking, and an absolute winner. Jemma is on an island in the Maldives, her husband of just one week is missing, is he alive, or has the unthinkable happened? Tina Seskis encourages an almost unbearable tension to strum across the pages. I found myself questioning everything, suspecting everyone. Jemma tells her story in the present, while the background of the last seven years is gradually revealed. Provocative, yet subtle, the balance between compassion and misgiving is kept on a razor sharp edge. I found myself completely ensnared, wanting to read faster and faster, yet not wanting the story to end. I will admit to moments of smugness, before the story slapped me quite severely, for being so sure of myself. Thrilling and entertaining ‘The Honeymoon’ is a jaw-dropping, truly fabulous read. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
Well of the Winds

Well of the Winds

Author: Denzil Meyrick Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

A stimulating, fascinating and so very readable addition to the ‘D.C.I. Daley Series’. The past is haunting the present as murder visits an island off the coast of Kintyre. Denzil Meyrick’s writing style has evolved over the course of this series, the tone of the previous two novels branched out beyond the intimacy of Kinloch. Here Daley and Scott are at their very best within their own world, even while Daley is in a pit of personal anguish. Chief Superintendent Symington comes into her own as we discover what makes her tick. I found raised eyebrows, wry smiles, and chuckles followed Meyrick’s trademark humour which attaches itself brilliantly to Scott. Actual echoes from the Second World War reverberate around this piece of fiction and create an intriguing note of tension. ‘Well of the Winds' has to be one of my favourites in this captivating series, if you’ve not yet met Daley and Scott, do sink into the pages and introduce yourself. ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
The Day I Fell Off My Island

The Day I Fell Off My Island

Author: Yvonne Bailey-Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/03/2022

Telling an absorbing, boldly honest story of resilience as it charts a girl’s life from rural Jamaica through her struggles to survive and thrive in London, Yvonne Bailey-Smith’s The Day I Fell Off My Island is a storytelling triumph. Shot-through with the stirring conviction that a person can come to control their own destiny, it’s told in elegant style, with perfectly-placed Jamaican patois making the story even richer. It’s 1968 and 13-year-old Erna is living in the care of her loving Grandma Melba and Grandpa Sippa with her three younger half-siblings. Erna’s world revolves entirely around her family and remote Jamaican village, until her mother visits them ahead of making a big move to England. After she leaves, life settles until Erna’s siblings are taken to live in London by their father, a man Grandma Melba calls the “Ugly Satan Devil Man”, leaving Erna bereft. After meeting her own father for the first time, Erna is also uprooted from her beloved island and finds England to be “an unfriendly, upside down world that made little sense.” In time though, despite racist attitudes initially curtailing her education, and despite enduring toxic masculinity and a traumatic home life, Erna begins to feel like she’s in control of her own destiny, echoing words of advice once said by her father: “Wi run things. Things nuh run wi”. Alongside exploring the trauma of being uprooted, The Day I Fell Off My Island is also incisive on the complexities of returning home, such as when Erna feels she’s seen as a “jumped-up islander who had lived abroad and now thought I was better than everyone else”. But, while Erna’s sense of displacement is powerfully palpable, so too are her triumphs. What a stirring, beautifully-told story. I certainly won’t forget Erna in a hurry.

Star Books
Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2018

Brimming with action, atmosphere and edge-of-your-seat adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic swashbuckler about "buccaneers and buried gold” is every bit as thrilling today as it was to its first readers back in 1883. The language is richly descriptive, yet still eminently readable to modern readers, thanks to its lively dialogue and perfectly-paced account of a high-stakes quest on the high seas and mysterious island. This new Wordsworth Collector’s Edition will make the perfect piratical present for burgeoning buccaneers who’ve yet to plunder the story’s exhilarating booty. It has a hardy hardback format, appropriately gleaming with the gold associated with buried treasure. Beautiful Books - Wordsworth Collector's Editions - The latest series for people that love beautiful books.

eBooks of the Month

Comments (0)


Leave A Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.