Nowhere Island

Gil bolts for freedom on his way to another foster-placement. When his backpack is stolen, with his treasured photograph and his hag-stone, his pursuit of the thief brings him to an island dividing the motorway, and to the ramshackle home of three other runaways. Riley and Grayson escaped an abusive parent, and with Junk, the dog, steal supplies. They tell Gil about another inhabitant, already established. Pez ran away from a cult, bringing with her stolen seeds, experience of self-sufficiency, and a conviction that isolation and silence are safer than human company.

In their different ways, the children are resilient, funny, and resourceful, and despite their harsh experiences, are disposed to kindliness. Pez understands how to live on natural resources, but her fellow islanders’ way of living relies on chance encounters with motorists. Although she has wished they would leave, when a severe storm washes them out, Pez comes to the rescue. Forming a warm community, Gil’s stories entertain, Grayson is the ethical compass, Riley is reluctantly kind, and Junk is loyal. When finally Riley steals from the wrong person, they must work together, each one digging deep, or die.

Throughout the story there is emphasis on the children’s inter-relationshipsm and the commonality of their search for home, a place where they matter. Their interaction with the natural world of the island is less detailed, but effective, especially Pez’s impressive survivalist skills.

This story is a well-observed, solid, exciting adventure, with several high stakes, and a satisfyingly badass outcome.

Book Cover - Nowhere Island
Publication Date
August 2023