Island Song

Madeleine Bunting

Published: 4 April 2019
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 400 pages
ISBN: 9781783784615

About the author

Image of Madeleine Bunting

Madeleine Bunting was for many years a columnist for the Guardian, which she joined in 1990. Born in North Yorkshire, Bunting read History at Cambridge and Politics at Harvard. She is the author of The Model Occupation: The Channel Islands under German Rule, 1940-45, Willing Slaves: How the Overwork Culture is Ruling Our Lives (both published by HarperCollins) and The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre (published by Granta in 2009) which won the Portico Prize and was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. She left the Guardian in 2013 to concentrate on her writing. She lives in London with her family. More about the author


A wonderful evocation of wartime secrets and hidden histories, and a moving exploration of the far-reaching consequences they can have’ Catherine Hall



Compelling and moving - the narrative carried me along. I was gripped by Madeleine Bunting's cast of wartime characters and their modern-day descendants until the very last page’ Catherine Hall



Highly enjoyable

Richly researched...Island Song may be read as a diptych, exploring the excruciating dilemmas facing an occupied people’

Vivid and engrossing, Island Song tells an extraordinary story, bringing to life a largely untold experience of the Second World War. Madeleine Bunting is a fine writer, and her beautiful novel a memorable debut.Claire Messud

‘A gripping and exceptionally well told story about one woman's quest for truth, illuminating the many ways in which emotional and political histories are so often intricately’ Melissa Benn

‘A page-turner...many pages are so good, even charming, that you want to linger on's rare to find a first novel that is so assured and well-balanced’

‘A striking first novel that explores the moral complexities of occupation during the second world war’ Anthony Quinn

‘It's rare to find a first novel that is so assured and so well-balanced ... it is the best sort of intelligent popular fiction... Page-turningAllan Massie

‘Psychologically taut and compelling. A fascinating depiction of wartime Guernsey, with very real, very moving characters’ Catherine Hall

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