talking about the book… Blessed Isle

book cover - Blessed IsleBlessed Isle
by Alex Beecroft

A tidbit about the author:
I love reading Alex’s “about the author” page:

“… Alex lives…in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist… Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has lead a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800 year old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.”

I’m jealous. I wonder if I can come up with a bio that sounds half as much fun.

The scene that made you laugh out loud:
Blessed Isle
is told diary-style, alternating between the two main characters Harry Thompson and Garnet Littleton. Harry is writing their story and Garnet reads what he’s written and sometimes comments on Harry’s entry before giving the reader the next part of the story. They’ve survived one storm, and Harry is looking through his spy glass. He thinks he’s seeing land. But no, it’s another storm bearing down on the HMS Banshee. Garnet describes it as “watch[ing] your own death flying towards you across the water. It’s just like the poets say. It’s sublime.” Nothing really funny there – it’s a mad, crazy moment – but this is the moment Harry realizes that he’s in love with Garnet. Garnet’s response in the diary entry that follows is what made me laugh:

You felt that too? I wish I’d known! I still think there could be no better way to die than that—the glory and the ecstasy of it.

or from another of Garnet’s entries…

My poor Harry! Such heroics, and I not conscious enough to applaud. Had it been me, I would have resented my audience’s lack of interest, but he is a better man than I. Oh, don’t argue, you know it’s true.

The place where you wanted to throw the book across the room:
Oh Harry… Harry, you see, is captain of a group of ships on an ill-fated voyage to Australia. Prison ships. Harry’s crews are decimated by a horrendous storm and typhus. Harry makes a decision that proves disastrous – he releases the prisoners to let them help man the sails. Bad move, Harry.

A memorable line:

Shadow fell black on the ship. Columns of solid water pelted the deck like ammunition, and then one of the convicts screamed, a high-pitched, pig-like noise that echoed strangely in the trough. Solid water curled above us. Spray whipped away horizontally as the glass roof paused before it fell.

and another one…

“Your prison is my refuge.”

A quote from someone about the topic of the book:
“Blessed Isle
embarks you on a grand adventure around the world. The delivery is inventive and full of humor. You will fall under the spell of this poetic forbidden love story.” Book Lovers inc.

And to sum up, I think you’ll find yourself thoroughly engaged with Harry & Garnet. Their voices are so unique. Shy about gay romances? Don’t be. There are no graphic scenes in this book. Passion & romance, yes. And told exquisitely by the author. Enjoy!

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