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When Francie Seneca says that being stranded on a deserted island with five other people after the plane she was on crashes, isn’t the worst thing that has happened to her, she means it. The personal challenges she has faced in her life play an important role in helping her survive this obstacle. Francie and the others learn to live on the tiny island, with each other and with all the island has in store for them. Will they be rescued before the island defeats them?

188 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 25, 2015

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About the author

Shana Matthews

2 books2 followers
Shay-Nuh! That’s me. A 50-ish year old who is a closet writer and would like to be famous someday for writing books. To make money I work nights as an RN. I would much rather win the lottery. I like to draw and read, make scrapbooks and jewellery, and sit at the beach, listening to the waves. I like history, genealogy, photography, cooking, hiking and geocaching. I regularly ride my bike to work- slowly!! I live with my hubster and daughter in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada! I spend far too much time on the computer!! I’m organized and neat. And don’t like talking about myself.

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Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 reviews
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1,507 reviews15 followers
January 24, 2020
Well, what an absolute gem of a book this was. The only criticism I would have of this book, (and, I hope this is a positive criticism) is, that I would have liked it to have been a bit longer, perhaps another 50 – 75 pages more would have been perfect.

The main character of this story is Francie, along with a group of survivors of a plane crash. There are times with such stories, that all you need to know are “survivors of a crash on an island”. You don’t need to know how or why the plane crashed or the circumstances around it, you just accept the crash as is. I felt that there was no need to go into that part of the story, you accept it as fact.

This is an interesting take on a “Desert Island Story”. Initially I equated this story to books like Robinson Crusoe. Where this book succeed far more than Robinson Crusoe is that Robinson Crusoe becomes too religious, to biblical text and you don’t have this here. Similarly, to the opposite end of the spectrum, and perhaps linking in the whole plane crash side is “Lord of the flies”. You have on one side you have children trying to survive and ultimately creating their own groups and factions. Here, you have adults (and one baby) with their own prejudices and dislikes. They have their own strengths and weaknesses that surface once in a while within the book, especially with Rebecca and her views and image of Francie.

For the story and style itself, like with Bram Stoker who became synonymous with this style, it is in Diary/ Journal Format and spans a period of four months. Although the other characters like Brock, Richard and Stewart are brought into it, the story focusses on Francie, her current situation, how she got there as a person and her past life. She becomes reflective about her life, her friendships, (both family and personal) the relationships she had and ‘my potentially have’. As time goes on you really find an affinity with Francie and all she has gone through.

Furthermore, focusing on the “writing style” itself, one of the authors styles I have enjoyed reading over the years is that of Ernest Hemingway. For sentence structure, he was once quoted by saying “If you cannot say anything in 20 words or less, there is no point in saying it at all”. Well, this is a perfect example of this writing style and, for each sentence itself, you get all you need and much more from it.

As for myself, on a personal note, I have spent time working in Central American and have spent many a happy time on small Islands out in the Caribbean, so, many parts of this story, such as references to toilet paper and deodorant, brought back many happy and wonderful memories for myself in a previous life.

A definite great read though. Really enjoyed it.
February 19, 2016
The concept of an individual or group being stranded on a desert island is certainly not new. It has been addressed in movies in Castaway, on TV in Lost, and in books in The Island, just to name a few. Despite that, this book by Shana Matthews is still worth reading. Francie, along with four other adults and a very young baby is stranded on a beautiful deserted island after a horrific plane crash. The book does not really spend a lot of time exploring the mechanics of living without the basics of modern civilization such as a working toilet, shampoo, or a varied diet. Those are mentioned to set the characters in context, but in actuality, our entire visit on the island is spent in Francie’s head as she learns about herself through a series of “moments” which she records in her journal. They aren’t all really dramatic moments; some of them are just her coming to understand a bit more about human nature. But most of the book is Francie discovering more about herself and how much inner strength she actually has. There is a touch of romance; but there is no smut, which is something important to me. Also, I don’t remember any particularly bad language.

All in all, I enjoyed this book a great deal although it is not flawless. There are a few editing mistakes; but none of them are particularly egregious. Also, I think more could have been done to tie the situation of being stranded away from the nicities of modern life into how the characters’ inner selves were revealed. I felt like the stress level, which should have been tremendous, was relatively quite subdued. Obviously, Ms. Matthews’ focus was on Francie’s emotional growth, but I think amping up the strain would have made for a more believable story and really dragged us readers onto the island with her. However, I think this book is well worth the time to read, and I recommend it highly.
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