About the book
It was once a family home. Now they are all at sea. . .
When Anna and David receive a phone call late one night, their lives are turned upside down. A few minutes later, they are on their way to the west coast of Scotland, preparing to care for two young sisters who have been tragically suddenly orphaned.
It’s a beautiful place, with heather in bloom, birds circling above the waves, deer grazing peacefully in the distance. But the big granite house is no longer the girls’ home, and Anna knows she will never replace their mother. Then David invites his friend to stay to “make life easier for them,” and Anna finds herself increasingly isolated, with everything she—and the girls—once knew about life being thrown away and undone by a man she’s deeply suspicious of.
The author charms you with a very intriguing prologue that makes you wonder throughout the book what has happened and what will be will happen
My God, what a tragedy this family had to face and what upheavals and adjustments for everyone. I sympathized with Anna. Not only did she have to deal with such a traumatic event, but she instantly became a mother to two teenage girls. Also, she was plucked from the comforts of city life to live in the wilds of a Scottish island, at the mercy of the weather and tides. The old house also couldn’t have been more different from her London home, being old fashioned and drafty. Not only was the island a desert: everyone’s life was also a kind of desert, a new turbulent situation to which everyone had to try to get used.
I didn’t like David Brandon’s friend character at all. Every scene he was involved in made the characters annoying and created a really unsettling feeling. His actions bordered on the odd at times and made me feel quite uncomfortable. This family needed stability, and he really rocked the metaphorical boat.
The author has done a brilliant job of creating a truly eerie atmosphere with the house and island feeling quite claustrophobic. Sometimes they really felt like extra characters.
Desert it’s a short read at about 250 pages, but every page is packed with tension and detail. It focuses on grief, the disintegration of a family after a tragic loss, and how that family begins to rebuild.
Wilderness is published by Tinder Press and available now. My thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take the tour and to Caitlin Rayner for the review.
About the author
Sarah Duguid grew up on a farm in North Lincolnshire and now lives in London. Desert this is her second novel.