Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Review: Uncharted: An On the Island Novella by Tracey Garvis Graves

Tracey Garvis Graves - and Anna and T.J. - return in this companion novella to the New York Times bestseller On the Island

When twenty-three-year-old dot-com millionaire Owen Sparks walked away from his charmed life, he had one goal in mind: get as far away as possible from the people who resented his success, or had their hand out for a piece of it. A remote uncharted island halfway around the world seemed like a perfectly logical place to get away from it all.

Calia Reed wasn't part of Owen's plans. The beautiful British girl - on holiday in the Maldives with her brother, James - made Owen wonder if getting away from it all might be a lot more enjoyable with a carefree girl who didn't know anything about the life he left behind.

But Owen had no idea how much his carefully detailed plans would go awry. Nor did he realize that a decision he made would have such a catastrophic effect on two passengers who boarded a plane in Chicago.

And when Owen shows up at Anna and T.J.'s door with an incredible story to tell, everyone involved will learn just how much their lives are intertwined.

4 Stars

When TJ and Anna spent 3 years stranded on a remote island they had stumbled across the skeletal remains in a cave. Once they were rescued they were told that more than likely they belonged to Owen Sparks , a reclusive millionaire who was believed to have travelled to the island and died there.   In this novella, Owen visits TJ and Anna to explain that he was on that same island, but obviously, did not die there. He has come to tell them something important, something he thinks they will hate him for telling.

A good part of the novella is Owen’s story, how he amassed such a great fortune in his early twenties. How his sister has used him over the years for his wallet and how much he despised his stepfather and his disappointment in his mother. His business partners; once his close friends in college, have allowed money and prestige to change them. All these factors resulted in why Owen was on that island.

“But I had a bad feeling about the direction of the company and just wanted out. I had plenty in the bank already, and three million on top of it meant I could go anywhere and do anything I wanted.”

Owen became friendly with the pilot, Captain Mick Forrester, who flew him back to the island and brought him his supplies (remember the shack TJ and Anna built?), ironically the same pilot who flew TJ and Anna to the island. Over several years of flying from Male to the island, he met some interesting characters and two in particular changed the course of his life. He fills in the gaps of his life with TJ and Anna at their home on more than one occasion. He admires their partnership in raising their family. They are now proud parents to a set of twins, Josie and Mick age two and a baby girl, Piper. Family is everything to them and their experience and almost death from that time on the island has never left them. Ben, TJ’s friend is now engaged to Stacy and is soon to be married. Owen has a strange request he makes to TJ and Ben, one that at first glance, one might expect them to refuse. Each has their own demons to wrestle, each must decide if they are up to the challenge. 

“We still won, Owen. We survived and we have this great life. I understand why you came here and why you needed to tell us your story. But you can let it go, okay?”

I enjoyed this novella. I adore TJ and Anna. Although this is primarily Owen’s story, there were some really sweet moments with them and their kids (love the chickens for pets). They will always hold a special place in my book heart as their story is one of my all time favorites. Owen also, has an interesting story, and we can leave him at peace with his life. 

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