Erica James has written many novels. In each, the reader becomes absorbed with the characters, settings and actions of the people who come to life. In Coming Home to Island House, the time is 1939 and the outbreak of WWII. Independent and a writer, Romily has finally become invested in a relationship. Older than Romily, Jack Devereux, respects her and does not want her to change. No real spoiler, because this happens early in the novel, but Jack dies leaving Romily to live in the beautiful Island House. Also coming to Island House are Jack’s children, including a niece whom he adopted. Arthur is self-centered and not very likeable, while his brother Kit seems very much his opposite. Hope has been widowed and is the guardian of her baby niece, who was smuggled out of Germany because of being part Jewish. Last, there is Allegra who began life in an Italian orphanage, only to begin living with her uncle Jack. Each of these main characters has hopes, dreams and relationships that the reader follows in the book. There are also some below stairs folk, people in the village and a young British evacuee, among others.
Ms. James moves among the characters, giving readers the chance to get to know them well. If you enjoy a family story and like to immerse yourself in a long novel, consider this one. It was published in Britain but can be ordered through sites such as abebooks.com.
Readers are captivated by Coming Home to Island House:
‘Erica James at her very best…a fulfilling, hugely enjoyable read’
‘This book felt like a luxurious treat’
‘A wonderful thread of love, grace, loss and forgiveness… Highly recommended’
‘One of those glorious stories where you don’t want to put the book down!’
‘I feel completely in love with all aspects of this books – the characters, the setting and the writing. I