This week’s Featured Read is one that you’ll start and finish in one sitting. It’s just SO. COMPELLING.
The Cult on Fog Island by Mariette Lindstein follows Sofia who is, in the beginning of the novel, at a rough point in life. She’s just ended a bad relationship and her ex-boyfriend isn’t making it easy. In looking for something to cheer her up, Sofia and her friend Wilma attend a lecture by Franz Oswald about clean living.
At first it all seems positive, and Franz is handsome, so of course Sofia is intrigued. When he suggests that she and Wilma visit his group on Fog Island, off the coast of Sweden, the two are keen on the opportunity. On the ferry to the island, the two are warned but the island (and the mansion!) seems so beautiful and there are tourists all around.
Upon arriving, Franz seems to give all of his attention to Sofia—flattering her and even offering her a job. The opportunity is appealing to Sofia. Not only does it mean a chance to escape from her ex-boyfriend but also gives her something to do with her life at present. So she agrees to stay, just for a while…
But the longer she stays, the darker and more oppressive the group becomes. The rules increase and there are more and more excuses to enforce control and punishments. It becomes clear that Franz rules Fog Island with an iron fist. All of Sofia’s contact with the mainland has been severed. And she begins to realize how very along she is and that no one ever leaves Fog Island…
This intriguing read about cults had me hooked from the first page. I just wanted MORE as the story went on. It’s realistically scary—and it’s not your typical thriller. It felt like this was something that could actually happen to someone!
And in fact… it did! The author and her husband actually both escaped from different cults. Lindstein was in a cult for 25 years before she escaped! And she actually loosely pulled from true events to tell this terrifying, page-turning story.
If you liked Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll love this fast-paced read! I hope you have the chance to pick it up and tell us your thoughts @SavvyReader or in the comments below!