The Last Kings of Sark by Rosa Rankin-Gee
Jude is just 21 years-old when she flies on a private plane to Sark Island to spend the summer serving as a tutor to shy and awkward adolescent, Pip. Unsure of what she is getting herself into, she is even more uncertain when she meets the holiday cook Sofi, a magnetic Polish girl who lacks any real culinary skills and interjects the ‘f’ word into every sentence she utters. Pip’s mysterious and reclusive mother, Esme, whiles away her days in her bedroom and is rarely seen. Pip’s father spends the bulk of the summer on ‘business’ that takes him off the island for weeks at a time. So, the trio (Pip, Jude and Sofi) soon find themselves idling away the summer, exploring the island, drinking from Pip’s father’s wine cellar, and ditching science lessons for other extracurricular explorations and experiments. Soon a powerful bond develops between the three and the summer on Sark shapes into a pivotal one never to be forgotten.Sark is a tiny Channel Island and the last place in Europe to abolish feudalism, where the sole means of travel is by foot or bike with miles of beach and terrain to explore, and Rankin-Gee beautifully illustrates the lushness and magic of the island. The tale of this summer adventure is a compelling and sensual story by a promising new writer who summons images of lazy summer evenings, daylight filtering through tree tops, summer downpours and bare feet hitting dusty roads: a perfect summer read.