On the Island (Paperback)
Short Description for On the Island When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a summer job tutoring T J Callahan at his family's holiday home in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation: a tropical island beats the library any day. T J has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him.
- Published: 16 August 2012
- Format: Paperback 368 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781405910217 ISBN 10: 1405910216
- Sales rank: 15,801
Reviews for On the Island
An easy read
I can't explain why but I really liked this book.
I read it in it's entirety in one night. by karenunder review
Lost crossed with The Blue Lagoon
Thirty-year old Anna is employed as a tutor for sixteen year-old TJ after treatment for his cancer makes him fall behind in school. On their way to spend the summer with TJ's family in the Maldives their plane crashes, leaving Anna and TJ alone on an uninhabited island with little to do other than wait for rescue.
The cover of this book really tells you all you need to know i.e. it's based largely on a beach, on some level it's about female wish-fulfilment, how the characters look is very important to the author, and though the subject-matter would seem quite dark it is, in fact, dealt with in a way that means it's more sugary than scary. It's very much an airport novel, bought on the way to a beach holiday and which won't make any demands on the reader.
On The Island felt to me like a cross between Lost, Cast Away and The Blue Lagoon, but reminded me most of the latter as both share an attempt to titillate and mildly scandalise. It's concerned mostly with the protagonists feelings, rather than the nuts and bolts of the situation they find themselves in, and this is reflected in Anna and TJ taking turns to narrate a chapter each. Other than what they talk about, however, I didn't feel there was enough differentiation between their two voices. The characters I liked best were the non-human ones, which says a lot about me, but also, I think, something about Anna and TJ.
It's a quick read, your brain doesn't need to be engaged and you don't need to be afraid that anything will be too upsetting to cope with. I was surprised that the author dealt with some enormous issues including illness and death in such a superficial way. Everything in this book is on the surface, no-one has any hidden depths or real darkness in them and it's easy to tell which characters are good and which are bad from the first second we meet them. Everyone seems to get over things very quickly both physically and emotionally.
I'm finding it really difficult to say much about this novel as it's so slight. I read it quickly, the plot went where I expected it to and it ended in the way I thought it would. It would amuse while on a beach somewhere, but it leaves nothing behind afterwards. A day after finishing it I couldn't care less about the characters and have pretty much erased the book from my mind.
In summary then, don't pick up On The Island if you're looking for depth, reality or subtlety, but if you're looking for something undemanding to read on the beach you could do worse. by CuteBadgerunder review