It’s week two of this fun read along, that is being hosted on Goodreads by Simon & Schuster Canada! Which means we get to talk about the next few chapters of the book! If you’d like to check out the group, you can find it here.
It’s surprisingly tricky to read like this, only a few chapters at a time. I’m used to plowing through books and finding out what happens as quickly as possible. But I’m determined not to get too far ahead, for fear of not being able to participate in discussions without spoiling everything. So it’s an adventure.
Let’s get into this, shall we?
Tom goes back to Janus, and finds that he misses Isabel, and writes her a few letters and sends her a gift. In his last letter, he informs Isabel that if she is willing to risk it, so is he. He takes a short leave so that they are able to get married.
Finally, Tom and I are on the same page that islands are lonely places when no one else is around. His letters are super sweet, and I really enjoyed reading them. Can you imagine proposing to someone, and then having to wait three months to find out what they say?
Isabel has moved onto the island, and seems to be enjoying it so far. It seems like she and Tom have their own little paradise, though it takes some getting used to. Isabel gets a map, and names all the different parts of the island.
This is one of those chapters that are designed to give you a snapshot of what life is like now that the two characters are together. There’s no real plot points in this chapter, but it’s sweet. We get a bit of information on Tom and Isabel that fits into the upcoming chapters.
Isabel finds out that she is pregnant. Tom starts building a rocking chair, and Isabel excitedly writes home about the news. We get a short section talking about how Tom discovered that his mother had passed on. They discuss names, and Tom wonders how they were chosen for this baby. The chapter ends with Tom contemplating the sea, and Isabel crying for help.
We knew that this was going to end badly, assuming you’ve read the back of the book. We knew there was going to be trouble, as much as this chapter tries to convince you otherwise. Evil author, trying to get our hopes up, just to dash them.
It’s revealed that Isabel has miscarried. She insists that Tom not call a doctor to the island. She struggles with the loss, and the isolation of the island. The plunks on the piano in the living space, but it’s too damaged to work. A man shows up on the boat on the next trip, and Isabel is furious with Tom, because she assumes it is a doctor. It turns out he is a piano tuner, and he is able to get their piano into a form of working order.
See, told you it was coming. Poor Isabel and Tom, I can’t even imagine. I did love the scenes with the piano tuner, though. It was such a sweet gesture, and a good way to turn the story more positive.
Fast forward to 1926, Isabel and Tom have miscarried a number of babies. They’ve buried them all on the island. The baby and the dead man show up on the boat, and Isabel warms to the baby very quickly. Tom is a little hesitant with the baby, but Isabel helps him grow comfortable with the child. Isabel names the baby Lucy, and tries to convince Tom to let her stay with them, claiming that they’re doing nothing wrong by keeping the baby safe and well cared for.
Maybe it’s because I’m not the most motherly of people, and because I’ve never had nor desired children of my own, but the bright, flashing kidnapping light is going in my mind. Maybe unofficial adoption would be a better term. But still. You can just keep a baby you find. You can’t just not report a dead body.
On one hand, I understand that Isabel is feeling desperate for a child after losing so many and that this might seem like a gift from above. But even so. Somebody must care about the man and the baby, and would at least want to know if they’re safe, even if they kept the baby on the island in the meantime.
But maybe that’s just me.
So that’s it for this week! Let me know any thoughts you’ve had in the comments below, and join us next week for the next five chapters of the book!