Stranded by Emily Barr

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Stranded by Emily Barr

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Although this is incredibly readable I felt it was a little confused at times about what sort of book it wanted to be and so by the time I'd finished I wasn't quite sure what I'd just read!
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 416 Date: October 2012
Publisher: Headline Review
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0755387977

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After her marriage ends Esther finds herself dreaming of getting away, running away for a while, to an island paradise. She decides to make a trip to Malaysia, but a day trip out to a small, remote island finds her stranded there, along with several other people, when their guide does not return to pick them up. There is no way home without a boat. Will this group of stranded strangers manage to survive, or will suspicions and tensions get the better of them as they wait to be rescued?

This is a very readable story. I found myself engrossed straight away, and keen to read on to see what happened. However, I did find it strange that interspersed between Esther's story was another, unrelated plot about a young girl trapped in a cult and plotting to leave. It felt very American and I was surprised when I realised that actually this bit of story was set in England. I found the interruptions of this story into Esther's tale rather jolting and almost as if I was reading two different books at the same time. I suppose I should have realised the two plots were going to be interconnected, but it wasn't until it became really obvious that I had the 'Aha' moment and realised just exactly what was going on! It was an interesting twist, which I didn't see coming.

I did find the style a little strange however. For much of the book I felt like I was reading a sort of chick lit desert island adventure story. Esther's story, initially, does seem like women's commercial fiction - a marriage gone bad, and an escape for her to try to regroup from that. When she ends up stranded on the island I found myself just waiting for the inevitable romance with another island inhabitant. It was only towards the end that the book suddenly turned into a thriller, and by then my head wasn't really in 'thriller' mode so it was unsettling for these characters to suddenly be in a different sort of book!

I also wasn't entirely convinced by the ending. It seemed a little too far-fetched for my liking. Emily Barr's writing style still carried me through, and I did enjoy reading the book, but by the end I did have an 'oh really?' feeling and the events began to just wash over me.

I did enjoy what happened when they were stranded on the island, and the mystery of what on earth was going on there and if they'd ever be rescued. I think this is certainly worth borrowing to read as it's an easy, quick read, but I'd perhaps be a little reluctant to buy it as it's not a book I'd return to or immediately want to lend to all my friends. If you go in without too many expectations then it's an interesting read, with some good characters and don't let it put you off trying other Emily Barr stories.

Some of Emily Barr's other novels have been very popular with The Bookbag: The First Wife, The Life you Want and The Sisterhood

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Buy Stranded by Emily Barr at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stranded by Emily Barr at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Stranded by Emily Barr at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Stranded by Emily Barr at


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