Think Lord of the Flies with females and you’d be close. A group of girl cadets living on an army base in The Gulf of Thailand during the Vietnam War in 1974 become castaways playing out most of the themes and action of Golding’s novel. The girls get saved at the last minute too! Oh, and they have a useless, whisky swilling, smack-head adult in tow.
The plot moves at a fair old pace and there’s plenty of tension. The girls’ resilience and problem-solving is impressively realised; their surroundings and the weather are vividly described; and characters and their psychology are utterly believable. This is especially true of the narrator/diarist, Bonnie, who grows up and appreciates so much more about her relationships, strengths and failings as the ordeal unfolds and finally ends.
Maybe a bit over-long, but all in all a good, engaging read. Good to recommend for comparison to exam classes tackling the famous set text. Be aware that parents might object to some of the language.