Published by Independent on July 19, 2019
Genres: Adventure, Caribbean Fiction, Drama, Family Life
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
The Island Takers by Jane Finch
Somewhere in the Caribbean is an island that visitors call paradise. Crystal blue waters lap lazily at the sugar white beaches, and tourists flock in their thousands by ship and air to laze in the melting heat and have their every need met by the sleek and handsome staff. Five-star hotels offer saunas and spas and pedicures and every conceivable treatment imaginable. It truly is paradise. Or is it? What lurks behind the scenes of glamour and opulence would chill the heart of every tourist. The people want their island back. They want the tourists gone. And they will stop at nothing to achieve their goal. But in the end, Mother Nature is the only winner.
The Island Takers by Jane Finch is set in a popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. A small, sunny, sandy island in the tropics might once have been paradise but fill it with a few thousand sun-seeking tourists and for those born and bred there it can become a hell on earth. Follow the lives of Pastor Joseph Cook and his wife and two sons as they struggle to continue their God-fearing lives amidst the drunkenness, debauchery, and disrespect for the island which is the daily life of the visitor’s intent only on two weeks of fun in the sun. When a group of islanders decide to take action, they cannot have foreseen the consequences or the anger and discontent they will unleash. As if the Church burning down and Pastor Joseph’s son being savagely beaten isn’t enough, a grand hoax turns sour, and it is only when Mother Nature intervenes that the frailty and vulnerability of the island and its people is exposed.
This novella is perfect for taking a few hours off, putting your feet up, and immersing yourself in the lives of the people living and working in a perceived paradise. Such is the intensity of the writing that the mixture of emotions will overwhelm: empathy for the tourists who want to cram as much rest and relaxation into their precious two weeks leave as possible; anger for the destruction of the reefs and coral; compassion for the islanders who feel they have lost their homeland; and share the confusion for those who will lose their livelihood if the tourists leave. The author, Jane Finch, has crafted a thought-provoking story that will stay with you even after the last page is turned. This story is clearly written with emotion and a skill that brings the location and the characters to life. Characters that are so believable you will want to travel to the island to meet them. A Pastor torn between the needs of his congregation and his family and seeking only the will of God; a young man desperate to preserve his heritage; a son whose living relies on the tourists; and a mother who yearns only for a peaceful life. And don’t forget the disease-carrying, biting, mosquitoes, waiting in the shallows to have their revenge and take back their island. The Island Takers is not just a story about the importance of family, about faith, and about community responsibility, but the lack of respect for our environment and the world we live in.
Take a break, read this book, transport yourself to another place. Feel the sand in your toes and the whisper of the warm breeze in your hair. Kudos to Jane Finch for writing a story that will stay in your mind and surface when you take your next vacation as you look into the eyes of those around you and wonder what they are truly thinking.