Published By: Bloomsbury
Released On: 31/03/2022
Not all that is hidden is lost.
For twelve hears Aina and Whitney have been in exile on an island for a crime they committed together, tethered to a croft by pills they must take for survival every eight hours. They’ve kept busy – Aina with her garden, her jigsaw, her music; Whitney with his sculptures and maps – but something is not right.
Shipwrecks have begun washing up, and their supply drops have stopped. And on the day they’re meant to be collected for parole, the Warden does not come. Instead there’s a sheep. But sheep can’t swim.
As days pass, Aina begins to suspect that their prison is part of a peninsula, and that Whitney has been keeping secrets. And if he’s been keeping secrets, maybe she should too. Convinced they’ve been abandoned, she starts investigating ways she might escape. As she comes to grips with the decisions that haunt her past, she realises her biggest choice is yet to come.
Thanks to Bloomsbury for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.
This is unlike anything I’ve ever read before and will probably read again; it is like a genre and format all of its own.
It’s written in a way that made me really quite uncomfortable, quite on edge, which I suppose puts me in a better position to identify with the two protagonists. It’s very claustrophobic and very cramped. For about 75% of the book, we are in one setting with just two characters. This could have been dull, but I think it’s a positive addition. In fact, it adds to the claustrophobia.
It’s so brutal, and all emotions are fired up to max, it’s like a slap round the face. Tom Watson doesn’t leave anything behind, it’s all on the page and nothing is off limits. It really pulls you into this situation that you don’t want to be in.
It asks the reader a lot of questions, even after you’re finished. Who can you trust? Could you survive 12 years with just one other person? What is important to you? What would you be willing to do to save your family?