Somewhere, in the middle of a fallen island, Isabel and her creator are falling in love…
The Isle of Somnus is governed by Scholars and Scientists proud of their commitment to ‘completely proven fact’. When Isabel sees a unicorn she finds herself utterly alone, doubting everything she has ever believed. After running away from school she becomes fixated with a mysterious Island across the ocean. If only she had a spoon she would dig a hole, pour the sea into it, and run away.
Then she meets Michael. He is neither a Scholar nor a Scientist and he agrees to help Isabel find a spoon.
In actual fact, Michael is a lost school boy who arrived unwittingly on the Isle of Somnus after falling into a coma. Although his pledge to help Isabel is noble, his life becomes increasingly at stake the longer he stays on Somnus. Isabel has no idea Michael is only dreaming her, and falling in love only adds to their danger.
This is a story for dreamers; for those who would like to study hard but find themselves consumed with thoughts of flying.
Once upon a time, Isabel saw a unicorn. She saw it from a distance at first and, although she was intrigued, she paid little attention to it, certain that it must be a mule or a cow, or some other common creature that she had learnt about in school. When the beast came closer, however, Isabel saw that it had a horn and so she jumped to her feet, convinced that it was an escaped rhino that she could arrest and hand over to the Scientists for a handsome reward. When the animal saw the girl hurtling towards itself, arms outstretched and long dark hair billowing across her face, it abandoned the patch of roses it had been admiring and began to sprint through the forest. Isabel was undeterred and eagerly gave chase, leaping over nettles and dodging low branches as she followed through the trees. For six long days and nights Isabel chased the beast, sometimes creeping, sometimes pouncing, never tiring nor despairing, growing increasingly besotted with the game.
It was the animal who tired first, slipping through the trees on the seventh day to rest by the edge of the water. Following tentatively into the open clearing, Isabel saw for the first time that the beast she had been pursuing was not actually an escaped rhino but was in fact a beautiful white unicorn— as wide and as tall as three fully grown common mules. She watched in awe as the radiant beast, a majestic and splendid creation, leant over and tenderly kissed its reflection.
“Poor thing,” she whispered to herself. “He must be lonely.” She too had often sat by the water’s edge, transfixed by her own reflection, with only her shadow to lean upon.
Isabel was a girl who spent a lot of time alone. On some islands this is permitted, on some it is even commended, but on this island, The Isle of Somnus, solitude was deeply frowned upon. Isabel should never have seen this unicorn. She certainly should not have pursued it for she skipped a Numerical Ordering class to do so. But had she not seen it, I would have nothing more to tell you. There would simply be a girl who never skipped school. And later there would be a boy. But they would never meet. My story would be as short as a very small piece of string, and not particularly fancy string at that. So all that you are about to read occurred simply because Isabel was brave. And impressionable, and a little irksome.
In Spring 2011, Isabel became the first Christian fiction book to reach Number One on writer’s site Authonomy.
I loved the story because it was a mix of excitement, sadness and joy. It is moving and gets your imagination going. Isabel reminds me of myself. — Ebony, 12
Isabel is one of those books you can’t put down. It has you laughing, crying, shocked, excited, weirded out (which isn’t a proper word!), loved, cooed, thinking “that’s very clever” and “I wonder, mmm deep.” All in all, a really magical story! Loved it! — Sharon Cameron
I have been loving your book. It is so imaginative, romantic and beautiful. Thank you for the joy it gives. — Elizabeth Sheldon
This story is enchanting. I feel as though I am roaming around in that comaland where everything is mythical and dreamy. It is relaxing to read this kind of novel. The characters are easy to know and the working of their minds is open for all to take in. It’s so well crafted, your Isabel is like a very pleasant song that one wants to hear again and again. — Mary Enck
Oh, I love this…the writing is exquisite (havent we all felt like Isabel? Haven’t we all suffered the loss of our innocence as Michael did in chapter one?) I have read two chapters without looking up as I am so captivated by the story. The writing flows, the characters come to life and I want to see the world he invents… — Millie C
So much about Isabel, the book, is innovative and fresh. I really know your characters, all the details of their lives better than I probably know my children. Your premise seems fresh and your way of telling the story is also new. Well done. I can tell, too, you are having fun. — K.C Hart
Quirky and quite brilliant. — SPW
The best book I’ve read in a long time. Beautiful, heartwarming and unforgettable. I’d recommend it for everyone. — Rebecca McMath