Title: The Island
Author: Jen Minkman
Genre: YA Dystopian
Novella (80 pages)
‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
“Here’s to hoping no one will subject us to a full body search,” Abba mumbles.
“Okay. Sounds like you two have a plan. A dangerous plan, but a plan nonetheless.” Walt looks at me. “Will you be careful?” he adds a bit anxiously.
I nod slowly, confused by his sudden worry.
“Will you come to Hope Harbor soon?”
I nod again. “When will you have time for us?”
“For you, always.” He smiles broadly. “I’m the Bookkeeper’s nephew, so everyone knows me. Just ask for Walt.”
I try not to roll my eyes. A Famous Fool – just my luck. “I will.”
“Try bringing a smile next time, okay?” He grins at me teasingly, and I turn red.
“Come on, Abba, let’s go,” I say, ignoring his comment. His strange accent still sings around my ears when I walk down the trail with my best friend, a basket of plants in my arms and The Book tucked away in my underwear.
About the Author:
Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack.
“I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad’s typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).”