GIVEAWAY: Enchanted Islands



Publisher Synopsis:

Inspired by the midcentury memoirs of Frances Conway, Enchanted Islands is the dazzling story of an independent American woman whose path takes her far from her native Minnesota when she and her husband, an undercover intelligence officer, are sent to the Galápagos Islands at the brink of World War II.

Born in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1882 to immigrant parents, Frances Frankowski covets the life of her best friend, Rosalie Mendel, who has everything Fanny could wish for—money, parents who value education, and an effervescent and winning personality. When, at age fifteen, Rosalie decides they should run away to Chicago, Fanny jumps at the chance to escape her unexceptional life. But, within a year, Rosalie commits an unforgivable betrayal, inciting Frances to strike out on her own.

Decades later, the women reconnect in San Francisco and realize how widely their lives have diverged. While Rosalie is a housewife and mother, Frances works as a secretary for the Office of Naval Intelligence. There she is introduced to Ainslie Conway, an intelligence operator ten years her junior. When it’s arranged for Frances and Ainslie to marry and carry out a mission on the Galápagos Islands, the couple’s identities—already hidden from each other—are further buried under their new cover stories. No longer a lonely spinster, Frances is about to begin the most fascinating and intrigue-filled years of her life.

Amid active volcanoes, forbidding wildlife and flora, and unfriendly neighbors, Ainslie and Frances carve out a life for themselves. But the secrets they harbor from their enemies and from each other may be their undoing.

Drawing on the rich history of the early twentieth century and set against a large, colorful canvas, Enchanted Islands boldly examines the complexity of female friendship, the universal pursuit of a place to call home, and the reverberations of secrets we keep from others and from ourselves.


Because I continue to be immersed in my own research, I have a pile of novels tapping their feet, waiting for me to review them. I don’t want to let this pass by before I’ve had time to dig in, so I’m giving away the gorgeous hardcover Doubleday sent to me.

Check out these fantastic reviews:

“An endearing chronicle of female friendship and evolution in the early 20th century … Amend smartly plies the habitually underrecognized bonds of sisterhood … On an island bursting with nature’s most remarkable creatures, humanity’s depthless ­capacity for loneliness crows most keenly.”
New York Times Book Review

Enchanted Islands is a many faceted jewel. It’s a spy thriller, a survivalist memoir, and a portrait of a marriage. It’s a story of female friendships—Frances’ on-again, off-again relationships with Rosalie and Elke—as well as a fascinating travelogue most likely made more realistic by Amend’s travels to the islands … A great summer read, a fabulous story for all seasons, Enchanted Islands will carry you away.”
Chicago Tribune 

To win a copy of ENCHANTED ISLANDS simply comment below about your favorite travel-related book, and share the giveaway on social media. The drawing will run until Wednesday, August 10th at 9 PM EST. (US only, please.)

Good luck!


16 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY: Enchanted Islands

  1. Terry says:

    Oh gosh I think my favorite travel related ( if you can call it that) book has to be Out of Africa. I know, not much travel but this is spur of the moment answer and it really is a fabulous story.

  2. The Signature of all Things has apart where she travels to Polynesia that I love loved.

  3. Bonnie K. says:

    Two authors that I have loved reading are Francis Mayes and Peter Mayle. I love the description of Provence, France and Cortona, Italy. I shared on Twitter: @grobiemum .

  4. I loved reading the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. I wouldn’t say it is a travel book but Harold goes on a spiritual and physical journey across England.

  5. Edee Walworth says:

    I’m not sure they would be travel books, but I love Steve Berry’s books always have interesting locales and historical locations.
    Thank you for this opportunity.

  6. Rhonda says:

    Bill Bryson’s books always Hilarious informative.Walk in the Woods still my favorite.

  7. Thanks for publicizing! Whoever wins can contact me for a free signed bookplate! @ all the social medias @allisonamend

  8. Lauren R says:

    Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

  9. Jenny Belk says:

    I always enjoy Adriana Trigiani’s Valentine Series-Brava Valentine, etc. I would love to read this beautiful book. Surely the most gorgeous book cover ever.

  10. tmrtini says:

    Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. After reading that book, I have always wanted to go there. Hopefully one of these days…sigh

  11. My teenage self would say The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, but now it would have to be The Road.

  12. Melissa Crytzer Fry says:

    Not sure if this is travel-related per se — but the character goes on a long journey/travels through the wilderness… The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.And recently, ALONG THE INFINITE SEA by Beatriz Williams includes various European settings then to America. Great dual-time frame book. I tweeted!

  13. I loved Ann Patchett’s “State of Wonder” since it took me to the Amazon.

  14. erikarobuck says:

    Thanks so much for all of your great book recommendations and shares! Congratulations to Katherine Hobbs! Stay tuned for more giveaways.

  15. Kim N says:

    I enjoyed reading Alice Hoffman’s The Marriage of Opposites and the juxtaposition of the island of St. Thomas and Paris. Since I can’t take my own exotic vacation this summer, I’d love to visit the settings in this novel.

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