"This conversation-starting thriller sees seven teenagers confront uncomfortable truths as they battle to survive being stranded on a desert island - and each other"
October 2021 Book of the Month
Utterly gripping and of-the-moment, The Trial addresses vital issues around consent, coercive control, victim-blaming and male entitlement with a desert island survival scenario providing the perfect set-up for a tinderbox situation. With this novel, Laura Bates, award-winning writer, activist and founder of the Everyday Sexism project, has created a thought-provoking thriller with page-turning potency and resonance.
When a group of cheerleaders and footballers are washed up on a desert island following a plane crash (and a post-game party no one seems comfortable talking about), their attention is initially focussed on survival - what they’ll drink and eat, when they might get rescued. But then, as time passes and a series of strange, apparent accidents befall them, suspicions mount and paranoia reigns: “There’s something ‘off’ about the fabric of the group. Like a jigsaw where all the pieces have been reshaped and none of them fit together any more”.
As the tension escalates, vital truths about gender relations are raised (and class disparity, too), such as when one of the characters observes, “The things that scare us are very different from the things that scare them” of the differences between her female peers and the guys in the group. This is Lord of the Flies with a powerful feminist message and cinematic scope.