July 2015, Sphere, 234 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Summary from Little, Brown
Four mothers. Four teenage daughters. An isolated tropical paradise with no internet or mobile phone reception. What could possibly go wrong?
There's tension, bitchiness, bullying, sex, drunken confessions, bad behaviour and breakdowns - and wait till you see what the teenagers get up to . . .
How can we let our daughters forge lives of their own when what we most want to do is hold them close and never let them go? How do we let them grow and keep them protected from the dark things in the world at the same time? And how can mothers and daughters navigate the troubled, stormy waters of adolescence without hurting themselves and each other?
For some reason I thought this was about a plane crash on a deserted island that had women and their teen girls stranded). I was glad that wsn't the case, as I was reading it because I wanted see the interactions berween the mothers and daughters, rather than their circumstance. At first it was a little tricky for me to get a grasp on who each character is and who they are related to because there are about 5 of them in the beginning, but I quickly got to know their unique personalities. It was fascinating how different they all were! Each mother used a different parenting style at the start and middle of the trip away from home, so too did the daughters have different attitudes to being in a rural and isolated situation. The mothers mostly enjoyed the reunion of their long term friendship, having some jealousy over their personal circumstances and how the other daughters were. Because of their personalities they had a different view of the events that unfolded, which in turn affected the relations they have with their daughters.
Equally the teens are extremely different. My favourites were shy Bronte who was a sweetheart, totally under valued and overlooked by her mother, and Tess who lived on the island, was excited about so much in life and not at all stroppy. Macey became a favourite after she has a radical change which was delightful to watch. As for Janey...no-one was perfect on the trip but she was so disrespectful and definitely the bad girl. She views life as a big joke and doesn't grasp issues of privacy (which lead to a positive change in Bronte despite the horror of the incident) and thinks she is ready for adult romance (which also leads to a positive change after a truly awful experience).
I liked how many life incidents occurred to the characters-some are hard to take like the near rape incident, some are amusing and had me grinning away like when Bronte gives Janey a deserved shock, some are sweet when one of the girls gets her first period and is helped by someone unexpected. There is so muh to enjoy that I know I'm going to pick out more details when I reread it! This is a keeper, one for all mothers and daughters to share.
Find out more on Kylie's website.