Book: The Island of Lost Souls
Author: Martyn Bedford
Reviewer: Sibongile Mashaba
The first thing that kept me glued to this book was the narrative writing.
I love reading books that are narratively written because they make meuse my imagination as though I am situated in the fictional place.
The Island of Lost Souls is a nerve-wracking novel.
It makes you ponder the angles and gives you room to make your own predictions.
It is about two lonely people who find themselves on an island, longing for love and tenderness.
First, there is Finn, who receives a letter that he has to go and join the army.
This means he has to leave the love of his life, Lila.
He has always known that if you join the military, chances of you returning home in one piece, are nil.
Many have gone, many come back in coffins. Very few come back alive, if they do, they have serious injuries that significantly shorten their lives.
Finn meets a man at a club, a man he thinks will help him escape without a trace.
He goes for a medical evaluation and has his upper body tattooed. He puts on an act of joining the army, but runs away to the island, instead.
Then there is Bryher, whose husband, Roop, died while fishing. Without Roop, she is nothing. She is lonely and incomplete.
She and Finn put up an intimacy act in front of strangers.
Bryher fantasises about Finn all the time, but she refuses to become attached because she feels she will be cheating on Roop, even though he is dead.
She wants Finn, and the inverse is true too. Finn, on the other hand, cannot risk Bryher's life.
They would both be in trouble if they were caught. He is haunted: Did running away make him a hero or a coward?
Finn finally decides to hand himself over.
What happens to him? Is he going back home to meet Lila? Is he going to join the army or will he be sent to jail for the rest of his life, or even worse, get killed? What happens to his feelings for Bryher? What happens to Bryher?
These are the questions that remain unanswered at the end of the book. A great and interesting book to read indeed.