“Sometimes it is easier to stay away than to try to build bridges and fail. To let silences stretch over years rather than reaching a hand out across the vast and lonely emptiness.”
Lorna – Twenty-two years ago Lorna left her Hebridean island home when family life became unbearable for her. She was never given any praise or was made to feel lovable. She suffered emotional cruelty at the hands of her alcoholic father. She set out on her own at the tender age of eighteen and moved to London where she got a job in a bar. A few years later, with the birth of her daughter, Ella, Lorna successfully trained to become a school teacher. Now, after little to no communication with her family for over two decades, she is returning to the island to attend the double funeral of her parents.
“Often, I feel like my life is one long drive in a car with no steering wheel.”
Alice – married to Jack, Lorna’s brother, and mother to fourteen year old Molly, Alice keeps her little family together. Loving and nurturing to not just her own family, but her extended family too. And by that I mean all the islanders. She is a yoga instructor and the friend to many.
Kip – a tiny Hebridean Island, Kip is the home to just over one hundred residents, twenty cows, and fifty or so sheep. All of Kip’s residents seem to love where they live and they have a very strong sense of community spirit.
I had great memories of reading Libby Page’s previous novel “The Lido” so was really looking forward to “The Island Home“.
One of my all-time favourite settings for a novel is the Hebrides, and islands in general have always held a fascination for me. The fictional island of Kip in this novel is an almost idyllic place – a place I would love to live.
If I had to say anything negative about this lovely novel is that it was very predictable. However, in this case, I found that I didn’t care. It’s predictability made it comforting and the characters were all so wonderful that I enjoyed the journey with them, despite the fact that very early on I knew how it would all pan out.
This is a book with themes of homecoming, regret, forgiveness, hope, belonging, and community. It expounds on how strongly people can be linked to a ‘place’.
If you are looking for a feel good novel that also tugs at your heart strings, then this is the book for you. A lovely read that I can highly recommend.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Orion Books via NetGalley UK – Published June 24, 2021
Libby Page is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Lido and The 24-Hour Cafe. The Island Home 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.