Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Enchanted Island

Allison Amend's novels spans the lifetime of one woman, Frances Frankowitz, who was born in Duluth but who has a life full of adventure that she could only imagine as she was growing up. 

As the novel begins, Frances and her best friend, Rosalie, are living in a retirement home. Frances has always been envious of Rosalie's life, and when Rosalie is honored for her work during the war, Frances is especially bothered by the fact that her own wartime contribution must remain a secret.

When I first read about Enchanted Islands I was intrigued by the Galapagos Island setting.  However, the novel begins with both girls' childhoods in Duluth and their experiences as they set out on their own.  It isn't until much later in Frances' life that she gets an opportunity to work as a spy for the United States government by agreeing to marry Ainslie Conway.  

Her marriage to Conway is friendly, but not romantic, and the two set off for the Galapagos Islands.  There are only a few others who inhabit the island, and it is revealed that perhaps they have reasons for being there that are not altogether innocent.

I loved the description of this time and place.  I loved that Frances and Ainslie are real people and that Allison Amend developed a work of fiction around their supposed work as spies.  I loved the fact that my imagination is piqued and I now want to know more about these people and their impact on the world during World War II. 

This is a fantastic work of historical fiction. I'm looking forward to seeing more from Amend in the future.

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