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Ember Island: A Novel Paperback – April 15, 2014
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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"The author’s description of the beautiful Australian coastline will linger with readers long after they finish the book." (Kirkus Reviews)
“Freeman weaves the two time periods together so seamlessly." (Booklist)
"What a perfect beach read. A sunken ship, buried treasure, a home on the beach by the lighthouse, sister relationships, adventure, and romance. Lighthouse Bay packs a lot into its two-pronged story." (atravelerslibrary.com)
"The novel's strength instead lies in Freeman's complex characters—capable of love and hate, shame and redemption. Both Beattie and Emma find themselves having to start over, and it is for these two women that readers cheer and sympathize." (Publishers Weekly)
"By the last satisfying scene, you may find yourself reluctantly parting with old friends who will live on once the cover has closed. Highly recommended." (Historical Novels Review)
"[Freeman] made her characters come to life, the scenery visible through her words, and the story was believable and made me want to read more." (Book Nook Club)
"The complexities of character and female relationships make this novel very rich and emotional." (Examiner.com)
"A gorgeous story of family and secrets and the redemptive power of love." (Kate Morton, author of The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden)
Top Customer Reviews
Immediately, I was transported to Ember Island, a fictional place in Brisbane's Moreton Bay, and the struggles of internationally renown but reluctant writer, Nina, who, discovering her property on the island (once owned by her grandmother) has been damaged in a storm, arrives to oversee repairs. Only, the house isn't the only thing needing fixing. Nina is nursing a wounded heart and suffering from terrible writers' block and, as the story unfolds, readers learn she is burdened from carrying a guilty secret as well.
The story shifts gear back to the late 1800s and the life of orphaned Matilda Kirkland who, after her beloved grandfather dies, follows her new husband, Jasper, to Guernsey in the Channel Islands to take up life as a wife and all that entails. Only, when Tilly (as she is known) arrives, nothing is as it seems and her dream future with the dashing Jasper soon becomes a nightmare from which she must wake or perish.
Segueing between the two stories of two very different women, the connecting thread being Nina's grandmother, Eleanor or Nell, and the diaries she has left of her childhood on Ember Island, the reader is immersed in their separate travails and quest to find both love and peace, a place to settle their restless souls, but without sacrificing their sense of self.Read more ›
Nina is an author who is suffering from writer's block and so she sets off to the titular spot to try and find a way to write again. I have to admit that Nina is a bit of a pill. Very hard to like and rather whiny. While visiting the family home she finds her grandmother's diaries which takes the reader back in time to explore the story of Tilly, a young woman born in a time when women really had no control over their lives. Tilly marries but her husband is a louse and she finds herself running away for reasons I'm not going to share and she ends up on Ember Island as a governess to young Nell, the prison warden's daughter and Nina's great grandmother. As Nina learns about Tilly through those diaries she finds that perhaps some secrets need stay buried.
This is my first book by Ms. Freeman and I did enjoy it for the most part. It did drag in parts and it was confusing at times trying to keep the three women's stories going in my head. They do all come together in the end but at times I was a touch lost. As I wrote Nina was not overly likable and Tilly was not the easiest of characters either. Nell I found the be the most developed and the one I enjoyed the most. Unlikable characters are part of life but Nina didn't seem to grow, at least to me.
I enjoyed the parts in the past more than the ones in the present - I'm not sure precisely why. Perhaps because I just enjoy historical fiction more than I enjoy current fiction.
*I received a free copy for my honest review
In the present day, Nina is faced with horrible writer's block as she tries to write her fourth novel. She is a descendant of Nell Holt's and happens to own the same house that Nell lived in as a child on the titular Ember Island. When checking for storm damage, she discovers pages from Nell's lost diary, and as she finds more bits and pieces, Tilly's story takes shape. Nina is a modern-day Tilly, looking for love yet feeling unworthy of it. Will Tilly and Nina find the love they so desperately crave?
This was a very interesting novel that alternates between the past and present as the characters' stories are told. There is certainly a critique in here about the treatment of women! The most wonderful character of all is Nell, who in may ways is just as desperate for love as Tilly and Nina.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is about three women whose lives are intertwined even though they live centuries apart from one another. The book opens with a wedding in 1891. Read morePublished 1 month ago by JerseyGirl Yvonne
You know the ending is good when you realize you're freezing cold from visiting still too long because you were so focused on finishing the story.Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
Not a bad book , but not one of her better ones imo . I wanted to smack the main character more often than not .Published 3 months ago by Min
This is the fourth straight novel of Ms Freeman's that I have read. The first portion of the novel started out ok, but it dragged on so long that I skipped ahead. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
Interesting read. A bit of a trial to get the story going. I did enjoy it after all.Published 4 months ago by Margaretanne Connors
A historical romance that spans the years between the past and present to tell the story of three young women as they end up in Australia and then to Ember Island. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer