On the surface, the plot of this book was intriguing. Two people, Lillian and Dave, are rescued from a deserted island years after their plane crashes and are reunited with their families. But they are hiding something terrible. An evil, Greta Van Susteren type reporter has gotten them to agree to do an interview, and is determined to reveal their secrets, no matter who it hurts.
Somehow this book manages to take every potential interesting thing about that plotline and utterly fail to deliver it. The point of view goes back and forth among Lillian’s interview, Dave’s interview, and scenes from the island. “Sometimes you have to lie”, Lillian tells herself, “sometimes it’s the only way to protect those you love.” As she and Dave rehash their carefully constructed story, the real story of what happened on the island, and how the other four people from the plane died, comes out.
And it is not interesting. The worst part is that the book hints at things that WOULD be interesting – how Dave and Lillian adjust back to their lives after so long on the island – but glosses over them and wraps them up almost painfully. The very real struggle between Dave and his wife is solved in a page by her literally, and for no explained reason, completely changing her personality. Life on the island is cartoonishly easy, with basically a magical fresh water lagoon fed from an underwater spring (…on an island? In the ocean?) that is constantly fresh even after Lillian bathes and does laundry in it and an easily accessible supply of fish, mangoes and coconuts to survive on. When the “twist” is finally revealed at the end, instead of at least playing out the tension that the reveal should have caused, the book ends on the most contrived happy ending I have ever read.
The entire premise of this book is that the characters must spin a web of lies to hide a terrible secret that would ruin their lives, and when the secret is finally revealed, even the characters themselves are like, “Meh.”