Thursday 30 August 2012

An Island Between Two Shores by Graham Wilson

At just 148 pages long,  An Island Between Two Shores by Graham Wilson can be read in one sitting, in fact I think really should be read like this as the story is compelling, often brutal but beautifully told.

The Island of the title is a small stretch of land separated from the shores by a fast-flowing, lethal river, and is where Liana finds herself washed up, on her own, and struggling to survive.

Liana is an 18 year old French girl, she came to the Klondike with her Father after the untimely death of her Mother.  Her Father was killed in a tragic accident and she has spent the last few years living in the desolate Arctic with only Henry to look out for her.  

When Henry is no longer around, Liana must try to find her way back to the town, as she travels the river in a small canoe she feels confident that the town is not far away, then she hits the fast flowing rapids and is washed up on the island.

Graham Wilson's writing is sparse and to the point.  He describes the frigid Arctic landscape so well that the words on the page can produce shivers of cold.   Liana's fight against nature is a compelling read, as the weather gets colder and she gets weaker and hungrier her mind begins to wander and this is when the reader learns more about her past.

Liana's only companion on the island is a black raven, the bird watches her intently and Liana knows that it is just waiting for her to die - the relationship between the two is built up slowly and ends quite brutally.

Graham Wilson
It is clear from the writing that Graham Wilson knows the area well, he captures the desolation, the isolation and the fear so well in this story.

The final chapter is a revelation, and one that some readers may find a little strange, as I did when I read it.  However, it's a realistic ending, if not the hoped-for finale.

An Island Between Two Shores is published in Canada by Friday 501 - an independent publisher based in the Yukon, and is available in the UK via Amazon as an e-book.

Graham Wilson has a website here and is also on Facebook.    Many thanks go to Graham for sending me a hard copy for review.

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