I am delighted to share my review today for The Sanctuary by Andrew Hunter Murray. I had requested this book from Penguin Books via NetGalley as the title and synopsis interested me.
This is the 9th book I have read in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge.
In a disintegrating and increasingly lawless land, a young man is travelling north.
Ben is a young painter from the crowded, turbulent city. For six months his fiancée Cara has been living on the remote island of Sanctuary Rock, the property of millionaire philanthropist Sir John Pemberley. Now she has decided to break off their engagement and stay there for good.
Ben resolves to travel to the island to win Cara back. But the journey there is a harsh and challenging one, and when he does arrive, a terrible shock awaits him.
As Ben begins to find his way around Pemberley’s perfect island, he knows he must also discover – what has made Cara so determined to throw her old life away? And is Sanctuary Rock truly a second Eden, as the mysterious Sir John claims – or a prospect of hell?
When Ben’s fiance Cara doesn’t return from her work trip, Ben gets worried. She works on an island with no phone signal and communication is by letter. Cara likes her job a lot and she likes the importance that it offers her.
This story is set around a two-tier society, those that can afford to live in Villages, and those that can. The Villages are a new way of living. The main island is known as Sanctuary Rock, a remote island that has a strict and limited access system.
For Ben, this is a society or system that doesn’t quite sit well with him. He has visited Villages to paint portraits for the wealthier residents. He however is happier in the city in his small flat. There are benefits to these hubs as those who cannot afford to live in them can work in them. Travel and work are via permits.
Ben finally has enough of waiting for Cara so decides to make his way to The Sanctuary. A dangerous journey to undertake with no idea what he will find when he gets there.
Once there he is surprisingly welcomed as it seems that Cara is respected there. While he still waits for her to return from another job he is shown and welcomed to the island. It has a good feel, almost like a utopian society where everyone works together. There is however an underlying ominous feel, is everything as good as it seems or is it too good to be true?
This is quite an addictive story and it does have a dystopian feel to it, but not overly so and this makes it more accessible. THere are ethical questions raised within the story and this is a great way of interacting with the reader and made me think about options, dilemmas and principles.
The story unfolds further and you start to notice the cracks, things are not as they seem but quite what they are I wasn’t able to put my finger on, following Ben in this story finally led me to a truth that I didn’t expect.
This is a mystery novel that has a sci-fi or dystopian twist to it. The plot was a slower one but it gave all the information and explanations to set the reader up for the revelations to follow. I really enjoyed this one and I would be happy to recommend it.
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