EXCERPT: Prologue: Frozen to the bone, I stumble from the boat and look around me at the village. It’s not Creel, but some place exactly like it; houses tumbling like rocks down towards the hungry sea. Fishing boats and cracked concrete. I stand there, swaying slightly with the motion of the boat I’ve left behind. There’s no sound or movement from the houses.
Somehow, despite coming so far, through so much, the idea of going up to one of those doors and knocking, being confronted by a stranger, has me frozen. What is waiting in those houses? Is there even anyone there?
‘Are you all right, poppet?’
I turn so fast I nearly fall over. On the doorstep of a tiny cottage is an old woman in a wool skirt and fluffy slippers. Her eyes are wide and she has a wire cage of milk bottles in one hand, her back still half stooped to put it on the doorstep.
As I turn, her eyes fall to the strap of the rifle and she drops the bottles. They smash, throwing glass all over the concrete step. Fear is etched on her face as I remove the rifle and lay it on the ground.
I rise, and glance down at my ripped and muddy clothing, hanging off my skeletal body. With effort, I part my sticky, salt encrusted lips.
‘I need the police.’
ABOUT ‘STRANDED’: Eight strangers.
A secret you’d kill to keep.
When eight people arrive on the beautiful but remote Buidseach Island, they are ready for the challenge of a lifetime: to live alone for one year.
Eighteen months later, a woman is found in an isolated fishing village. She’s desperate to explain what happened to her: how the group fractured and friends became enemies; how they did what they must to survive until the boat came to collect them; how things turned deadly when the boat didn’t come…
But first Maddy must come to terms with the devastating secret that left them stranded, and her own role in the events that saw eight arrive and only three leave.
MY THOUGHTS: In all honesty, I believe you would need to be a fan of TV ‘reality’ shows like Survivor to appreciate this book. In hindsight, I am probably the wrong demographic. I was thinking that this would be more of a murder mystery, and it is not.
Maddy is the narrator. She is grief stricken following the death of her parents. She lost her job as a botanist after clashing with her boss, and is temping office work. She is lost and lonely and believes she needs this challenge to find herself. So she isn’t very happy when life on the Island starts to mirror the life she left behind. Tensions between the contestants escalate until . . .
Initially I found the personality clashes between the contestants interesting, and while I knew that bad stuff had to happen, I was expecting a more even division into ‘sides’ than occurred.
While I never quite lost interest, Stranded seemed inordinately long. It felt like we lived through every day of those eighteen months, task by repetitive task. And in the end? It became tedious. And frankly, unbelievable.
I: @sarah_goodwin_author @harpercollinsuk @avonbooksuk
T: @SGoodAuthor @HarperCollinsUK @AvonBooksUK
#contemporaryfiction #crime #mystery
THE AUTHOR: Sarah Goodwin is a novelist who grew up in rural Hertfordshire and now lives in Bristol. She was raised on C. S. Lewis, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie by her parents and spent her summers in castles and on battlefields making up stories about women struggling for survival against war, poverty and dragons.
At Bath Spa University Sarah studied for a BA in Creative Writing and self-published seven novels across various genres, including YA magical realism, contemporary women’s fiction, romance and horror.
While undertaking her Master’s degree, Sarah participated in writing and performing in sketches for Bristol-based What Have You Comedy and now appears regularly on Bristol Youth Radio Rocks as part of a weekly mental health hour for young people.
Sarah graduated in 2014 with an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK audio for providing an audio ARC of Stranded by Sarah Goodwin, and narrated by Esme Sears, for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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