Friday, May 20, 2011

Island Girl: A Review

Island Girl by Lynda Simmons is an extraordinary novel about a woman's journey into the unknown while trying to put her family back together before time runs out. The story unfolds through the points of view from the main character, Ruby, and her two daughters Liz and Grace. Alternating chapters reveal the uncertain present and the past that they never really made peace with.

Ruby, a vibrant woman in her 50's is struggling with early onset Alzheimer's, or "Big Al" as she calls it. In an attempt to reconcile with her eldest daughter for the sake of her younger one, Ruby goes to great lengths to restore family ties while attempting to disguise her diagnosis from almost everyone. Liz, the brilliant lawyer daughter who gave up practicing law in favor of alcohol, escaped the island where she was raised to create a life separately from her mother and what she considers her crazy ways. Grace, the quiet and shy daughter, once escaped the island only to return several years later after an unspeakable tragedy rendered her almost completely dependent on her mother.

Together these three women weave together a beautiful and haunting tale of learning to forgive, forget, find strength deep within, and the power to move forward into uncertainty and the unknown. Ruby boldly confronts "Big Al" while finding love with an old flame. Liz, with the help of a few friends, overcomes her struggle with the bottle to courageously use her dusty law degree. Grace, aided by an unlikely character, learns to find her voice and strength again.

This novel had a tight hold on me from the first chapter and pulled me into the Island world. Its a wonderfully written story that captures the difficulties of early onset Alzheimer's for both the individual suffering and the loved ones who must watch. The book is about taking control, healing, and moving forward. To learn more about this book and her others visit the authors website.

Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this book for review by the author and TLC Tours. The thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.