Gull Island


A slow burn, this gothic-inspired novel is dark, claustrophobic and brimming with fetid secrets.

Jude, our middle-aged first-person POV narrator, is as unreliable as they come. Never fully sober, Jude is hallucinatory, and traumatized as she takes a trip down memory lane. On her first solo visit to the family’s rotting cottage, a creepy collection of cobbled-together cabins on their deserted private island, Jude is on a self-appointed mission to provide closure to a number of toxic family secrets. Including getting to the bottom of her uber-strange parents and their behavior. Jude’s mother, a repressed academic now suffering from dementia, is almost, but not quite, as unpleasant as her father, – a malevolent, abusive, dictatorial hunter with no regard for any member of his family, and a growing stockpile of mysteriously accumulated millions.

“It was the familiar pain of my childhood, one of rejection, of knowing that no matter how much I cried, no one would come to comfort me”.

When Jude encounters an unexpected storm that will limit her options to leave the island, her visit becomes a hazy non-linear stream of revelations, rememberings, discoveries and imaginings, with no one, including the reader, able to parse out exactly what falls into each category. Populated by rank and rotting animal carcasses, bloody falls and scrapes, and all sorts of things that go bump in the night, as the tension climbs to a fever pitch, the story assumes a sinister tone that echos the best of Daphne Du Maurier.

A disturbing and engrossing read, I enjoyed this book, and the author’s skill in crafting it.

A great big thank you to the publisher and the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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