Anna is a 30 year old teacher in a dead-end relationship who is escaping for the summer having landed a tutoring job in the Maldives. Her student TJ is 16 and recovering from a bout of cancer. His parents have rented a house in the Maldives and hired Anna to help him catch up with his school friends and avoid being held back a year. Anna and TJ are just about to join the rest of the family when the pilot of their tiny plane has a heart attack mid-air and they plunge into shark-infested waters before washing up on a deserted island. This is a story of how these two learn to live and work together with all of their generational differences in their battle to survive.
When you first read the blurb for this book, you think that it may be just another shipwreck story. I did. The reason I chose to give it a try is because I saw that it is a New York Times bestseller and because it looked to be a light and easy read. However, from the first page I was hooked. I almost missed my stop on the way to and from work, so engrossed was I On the Island. When they were heavily dehydrated, I found myself reaching for the water – that’s a sign of fantastic narrative. I spent all of my Saturday morning anxiously reading in bed, desperately wanting to know what was going to happen whilst at the same time desperately wishing that it didn’t have to end. The two protagonists’ stories are brilliantly created and beautifully intertwined. You find yourself feeling so close to each of them and equally sympathetic to each of their needs, as they struggle with life on a desert island. Every drama, close call, happy moment that they experiences, I experienced it right alongside them.
This is one of the best books that I have ever read. I laughed and cried numerous times and I finished it in a day and a half, which is unheard of with my reading history and busy schedule. I just couldn’t put it down. Please go and read it right now.