What a fantastic debut by Catherine Doyle! The Storm Keeper’s Island has by far been one my favourite books of the summer and I cannot recommend this book enough!
The Storm Keeper’s Island follows the story of young Fionn as he and his sister Tara travel to the island of Arranmore to stay with their Grandfather, but Arranmore harbours great magic and secrets which Fionn is unknowingly already bound to by a fate yet to be discovered.
Told in the narrative voice of eleven year old Fionn, Doyle beautifully captures the innocence and underestimated perceptiveness of childhood. Moments of nervousness, loneliness, frustration and sibling rivalry are deftly explored which make Fionn a really relatable protagonist for young readers. Despite the young voice, Doyle portrays complex and sensitive themes and emotions like overcoming your fears, grief and loss with great depth and realism. But underneath all of this is a story of the importance of family and the great bonds formed with your loved ones. The relationships between Fionn and his Grandfather and Fionn and his father broke my heart and put it back together again. Malachie Boyle will go down as one of the best grandfather characters I have ever read.
Catherine’s writing is enchanting. Her choice of language is beautiful, lyrical and fresh and effortlessly weaves between the past, present and future. The setting of Arranmore is so visually vivid, that I felt like I was airlifted from my armchair and planted in the wild natural beauty of the island. Arranmore felt more than island, rather the island came across as a lovable, temperamental character.
The ideas, relationships and magic that form this book are so beautifully thought-through and multilayered, especially the candles. Let's just talk about the candles for a second because the concept of candles as memory magic is just utterly genius! Profoundly beautiful and so original, I just loved it.
I smiled, I cried and I just got lost in the magic of Arranmore. The Storm Keeper’s Island simply had me hooked from the first page - the short chapters and fast-paced plot made this un-put-downable! I honestly cannot wait for the second installment out in July 2019.
Published by Bloomsbury. Support indie and buy The Storm Keeper's Island from your local bookshop. Search for your local bookshop here.