"The dreamer can know no truth, not even about his dream, except by awaking out of it." - George Santayana, philosopher/poet
AN ISLAND BETWEEN TWO SHORES is a splendid short novel that can be devoured in a couple of hours.
Young Liana left Paris, France with her father, who wanted to seek their fortune in the Klondike gold rush. Now eighteen in the year 1900, Liana lives with Henry, an old Indian friend of her father's, in an isolated cabin after her father apparently died in a river drowning accident. It was considered too dangerous for the teenager to remain in the Yukon boom town of Dawson City.
One day while Liana is out hunting caribou, Henry is murdered by two men and the cabin burned. Liana runs to escape the killers and manages to make it to a canoe. Fleeing downriver towards Dawson City, she encounters rapids, wherein her boat is capsized and shattered. She manages to make it to the shore of a small, desolate island in the middle of the torrent.
On this fragment of land separated from two shores by swiftly flowing and frigid water, Liana must survive or die during the onset of winter. The girl has only the clothes on her back, a knife, and a fishhook with line. Her only constant and unwanted companion, a raven.
AN ISLAND BETWEEN TWO SHORES by Graham Wilson is a vivid, compelling story of wilderness survival that will have you twisting your hankie in suspense and worry for the heroine.
I suggest there's no middle ground with this novel; you'll finish either loving or hating it, and be left feeling either satisfied or cheated by the ending. To say on which side of the fence I landed would require explaining why, and that would involve a spoiler. Let it suffice to say that I'm awarding five stars for the story's originality and the cleverness of its telling.
To the author, I say "Bravo!"