My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Life for Holly and her siblings is hard. Ever since the death of their mother, they’ve been trying to survive together. But surviving is hard and living is even harder; money problems, family troubles, and keeping a two bedroom flat together in London is pushing them all to the edge. One of their relatives, Great-Aunt Irene is in hospital suffering from a stroke. And, when Holly and Jonathan and Davy go and visit, Irene gives Holly a book of photographs which maybe, might, solve all of their difficulties. It’s time to figure out the clues in the book and find the treasure – before somebody else does.
I loved this. I will be frank and say that I adored this and I loved it and this is a very perfect and quiet and rather brilliant book. The great gift that Nicholls has here is that she’s got the voice of Holly perfectly; Holly is genuine, straightforward and rather beautiful. This is a book about family and people and such a book hinges on character. There’s plot, yes, a lot of it and it’s good but none of that matters a jot unless you believe in the people on their quest. And I did. I loved it. An Island of Our Own has the feel of something classic about it; there’s echoes of Swallows and Amazons and The Story of the Treasure Seekers and Philippa Pearce about it. It reads something like all of these mixed together with a hint of the Famous Five about it as well for good measure.
The other thing that lays at the heart of An Island Of Our Own is the idea of friendship. Family is family, but friends are family to. The kindness of strangers. The connections formed between people that pull people back from the brink. It’s such a quietly gorgeous and richly layered book this. I adored it.