My enormous thanks to the lovely Isabelle Broom for sending me a much desired proof of her latest novel The Getaway in return for an honest review. Regular Linda’s Book Bag readers know just how much I adore Isabelle’s writing and I’m thrilled to share my review of The Getaway today. I was thrilled to interview Isabelle for the Deepings Literary Festival Easter offer back in April too.
Isabelle Broom has featured here on the blog so many tome and you can find the following posts:
I have interviewed Isabelle more fully here.
I’ve also reviewed Isabelle’s book One Winter Morning here, My Map of You here, A Year and a Day here and The Place We Met here. One Thousand Stars and You is still looking at me from the shelf above my head!
Published by Hodder and Stoughton on 10th June 2021, The Getaway is available for purchase through the links here.
Most people travel to Croatia for its endless sunshine, pebbly beaches and crystal clear sea.
Kate goes there to disappear.
She needs to escape from a life that has fallen apart in spectacular and public fashion, and no one on the beautiful island of Hvar knows who she is or what she’s running away from.
Until she meets another lonely soul.
Alex is different to any man Kate has ever known, yet the connection between them is undeniable. She soon begins to open up in ways she never has before – not even to herself. But Kate is not the only person in Hvar hiding secrets. And, as she is about to discover, it is always only a matter of time before the truth catches up with you . . .
My Review of The Getaway
Kate’s life is a mess.
It’s no exaggeration to say I inhaled The Getaway greedily, putting life on hold until I had savoured every word. I adored it and could simply not tear myself away. The Getaway has everything for the most wonderful immersive, escapist read. Certainly it fits its genre to perfection and I was expecting romance and a positive resolution, but Isabelle Broom writes with such grace and beauty that there is an added dimension of enjoyment that is so satisfying. Her descriptions of places are perfect. Having been to Hvar I recognised some of the settings because they are so vividly and accurately described. Reading The Getaway is a true feast for the senses with everything from the sound of cicadas, to the sight of salt crystals on eyelashes, so that it feels like being plunged into the most idyllic world.
Aside from the accurate and evocative descriptions, however, there are wonderful, rounded characters who garner strong reactions in the reader. With a relatively small cast, I felt I got to know the people of The Getaway intimately, especially Kate and Alex, to the extent that their experiences, emotions and actions felt as convincing to me as if they were my own. I can’t imagine any reader not recognising at least one of Kate’s traits, desires or hurts and empathising with them. As an aside, I loved too the fact that she wears glasses. So few heroines are presented this way so that she felt all the more tangible to me.
As might be expected, from Isabelle Broom, relationships form the backbone of the plot, with familial, romantic and business partnerships presented fully. I adored watching the relationship between Kate and Alex unfold because not only was it romantic, it felt utterly believable. At one point I thought I was going to have to climb into The Getaway and perform a somewhat unpleasant physical action upon James!
However, wonderful settings, fabulous, entertaining, romantic plot and vivid characters aside, The Getaway is so much more. It’s difficult to say much about themes without spoiling the story, but The Getaway illustrates how we are affected by others, how our lives are what we make of them, how we cannot expect others to define us and how we shouldn’t just accept it when they do. Isabelle Broom explores identity, secrets, self-confidence and mental health in a subtle, clever and sensitively constructed manner so that not only did I want to hold and comfort her characters, I felt the need to give the author a hug too. The Getaway thrums with humanity and understanding in a manner I found extremely affecting.
I’ve thought hard about how to sum up The Getaway but it is, quite simply, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I loved The Getaway unreservedly and it’s one of my favourite reads this year. Don’t miss it.
About Isabelle Broom
Isabelle Broom was born in Cambridge nine days before the 1980s began and studied Media Arts in London before a 12-year stint at Heat magazine. Always happiest when she is off on an adventure, Isabelle now travels all over the world seeking out settings for her escapist fiction novels, as well as making the annual pilgrimage to her second home – the Greek island of Zakynthos. Currently based in Suffolk, where she shares a cottage with her dogs, Max and Julius, and approximately 467 spiders, Isabelle fits her writing around a busy freelance career and tries her best not to be crushed to oblivion under her ever-growing pile of to-be-read books.