the summer of 1968, fourteen-year-old Fish Becker is
sent to Portland, Oregon, to the home of family friends
while—in an attempt to salvage their troubled
marriage—his parents travel overseas, employing their
usual method for resolving domestic discord: buying
everything they see.
Fish stays with the Lamberts: Miles, his father’s best
friend from school and his mother’s former fiancé;
Ariana, Miles’ wife, whose sense of time and reality is
sorely displaced; sixteen-year-old Freddy, whose
behavior Fish emulates as well as rejects; and Freddy’s
younger sister Mira, whose penchant for theosophical
musings causes Fish to question the nature of his own
existence and parentage.
on three sides by cemeteries, the Lambert estate is an
overgrown Eden and a treasure trove of books—the
classics of literature as well as incomplete sets of
garage-sale encyclopedias—the little-known and the
forgotten. It is also a place where one might just as
easily hear an aria from Puccini as participate in a
seance; at the Lamberts’ one can hide, an island in the
midst of personal as well as historical trouble, and it
is here that Fish first manages to confront those issues
common to maturity—the loss of innocence regarding one’s
parents, the growing importance of one’s sexuality, and
an awareness of mortality.
retelling of The Tempest, Fish plays Caliban as
well as Ferdinand, Madama Butterfly meets Madame
Blavatsky, and the layers of time become the story of
awakening repeated for each generation.
Amazon.com: The Island