A layered, immersive and sensory collection, Islanders pulses with life and pathos. Cathy Thomas weaves these overlapping and intersecting stories with finesse, humour, and breathtaking precision. I loved it
Compelling and engaging
You feel everything in this book. Textured, intense, claustrophobic but riotously human and authentic.
Witty, gritty ... a poetic portrait of Guernsey's grubby underside
A wonderful, vivid, bittersweet collection, a universal insight into the unglamorous lives of glamorous places.
The shared but multifaceted claustrophobia of these interwoven lives is intoxicating. Cathy Thomas has a real talent for capturing the specific ennui, yearning, and resignation that occur within a small, resected place; the thoughts that hide behind innocuous conversations, the traitorous desires. This is a sticky, sensory, and very clever collection.
I devoured these stories. With impressive range and beautifully precise observations, Thomas writes about what home and homesickness really means, the impact of regret, and the challenges of truly growing up. A voice to watch
Fresh and funny and so sharply observed
These stories are so good. With beautiful and devastating precision, Cathy Thomas has crafted an unforgettable portrait of her island homeland Guernsey, revealed through a web of frail, flawed and - against all odds - connected human lives.
The thwarted, unorganised, and chaotic rituals of youth are wonderfully evoked, as are the ruptures in those adult lives that have become stale, untruthful, and painful; an affecting and funny debut
Assured ... Thomas writes with compassion and humanity
Funny, complex and painfully insightful, full of empathy without a sniff of sentimentality. The stories are shot through with exquisite details, and descriptions so evocative they left me stunned. Thomas draws the curtain around her reader and her characters, so that while you are with them, each of these tiny lives matters more than any other - what a feat
Islanders is a gritty, dark and joyful book about a complex cast of characters. Every one of these stories reveals gleams of love and tenderness; every one of them packs a punch
An immensely readable debut, full of pathos ... Every place should have a writer like Cathy Thomas to tell its stories; Guernsey is very lucky to have her
A vivid collection of short stories, each one unlocking the next, written in luminous prose that shares the whip and sting of the English Channel its characters call home. Cathy Thomas has given us an island that is never silent, a world of peer pressure, drunk driving and yawning cliffs. This thoughtful, generous work will linger in the memory
A beautiful and darkly funny book of linked stories covering two decades in the lives of a group of people on the island of Guernsey. Their desperate need for connection - and the lengths they're willing to go to - are depicted with empathy and dry humour
Islanders is elegant, gritty, funny and unflinching, full of the joys and pains of life, and with a remarkable sense of place. I gulped it down and wanted more. Utterly wonderful.