A modern retelling of Shakespeare's As You Like It, Isle of Arden is the story of a colorful group of characters who each shed their past in order to discover themselves on an island where “all the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players.”
On the brink of adulthood cousins Celia and Roz journey to the tropical Isle of Arden in the Florida Keys. With their quirky neighbor Stoner along for the ride, this summer promises to be the adventure of their young lives. The three quickly learn however “how full of briars is this working day world!”
Celia and Roz become estranged as a result of a long-time feud between their fathers that erupts after Roz falls in love with Landon, the son of a man involved in the embittered argument from years before. Celia secretly takes refuge in the arms of the one person who seeks to harm Landon, his own drug-riddled brother Oliver who eventually makes an attempt on Landon’s life. In the meantime, Stoner has fallen for Audrey, a neighbor and unlikely ingénue.
Things peak for our heroine when in the midst of a near hurricane, the truth of Celia’s betrayal to Roz surfaces, along with a trick of Roz’s own doing that causes Landon to flee angrily into the storm. As the storm heightens, so does their disagreement. Stoner discovers Audrey is missing and searches for her through the flooded island. Will love conquer even when the façades are shed?
Full of the whimsy of Shakespeare with the current of our times, Isle of Arden unfolds a classic tale of unexpected love and family reconciliations, leading to a signature Shakespearean comedic ending that would leave even the Bard himself sad to see it end.
So that's it. I'm going to revel in this victory at least until March 22, when they announce who goes on to the next round after reading my excerpt. Did I mention the winner of this contest gets published with Penguin?