What if aliens landed on your island?

Today’s featured book is about a ship – an alien ship – landing over Water Island in the US Virgin Islands and what happens when the aliens onboard, traveling on a research mission, take up residence alongside the islanders for five years.



Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and choose to buy something, it won’t cost you anything, but I’ll get an itsy bitsy commission as a thank you for sharing something cool with you.


The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull



The book: The Lesson

Written by: Cadwell Turnbull

Originally published: 2019


For those of you who are shaking your heads, thinking, Aliens? No, thank you… I urge you to open your mind and create some wiggle room for this book. Even if books featuring alien life forms are not typically your bag, this island-style Sci-Fi novel is definitely worth a read.

The alien race, referred to as the Ynaa, is presented as a play on colonialism – just one of the many thought-provoking qualities of this novel.

This book is also full of vivid island imagery. That, combined with the descriptions of the seashell-esque spaceship, have me hoping this book gets made into a movie. And has a sequel. I want more.


“An alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the US Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of superadvanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last.

A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.”

via Amazon


The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull


Readers who will love this book:


Readers who have a connection to the Virgin Islands. The book is set in modern day St.Thomas and boy is it fun to see all of the places you know well in a novel. The characters visit spots like Bella Blu, Fat Turtle, Emancipation Garden, and many other familiar landmarks. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy those giddy little moments of recognition as you read squealing, I know that place!

Readers who have a penchant for science fiction. I love escaping into a good Sci-Fi novel when I’m looking for a break from my typical literary fiction and non-fiction book choices. Up until now, I’ve not encountered a book that blended both my interest in the abnormal and my affinity for island-related literature. The Lesson is such a fun, unexpected combination of the two.

Readers who enjoy books written from multiple vantage points. This novel interlaces the stories of several characters, all of which are connected in ways that become clearer as the story progresses. While you may find yourself having to flip back a few pages at times to remind yourself who is who, ultimately it makes the tale all the more intriguing to see how they all fare up against the alien race, the Ynaa.


Are you ready to meet the Ynaa aliens on a rock and learn what The Lesson is?


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If you’ve read the featured book too, be sure to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page – we can chat about it and it’ll be like our own island-style book club!


Looking for more Island Reads? Here are some others I’ve covered for you to check out:

An Embarrassment of Mangoes

Don’t Stop the Carnival

Here Comes the Sun


Life on a Rock

Winter in Paradise

A Trip to the Beach

Live Fit Kitchen


Enchanted Islands

The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico


If you’re a fellow island reader and would like to connect on all things books, you can find me on Goodreads. I even have a shelf of island-related books, which I plan to cover in future posts like this one.

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Virgin Gorda, BVI

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:


Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the tropics, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps but these days, any activities that require a bra and shoes go under careful, is-this-even-worth-it consideration. If island life has taught her anything at all, it’s that few things are more rewarding than time spent in the pool with a cocktail in hand.

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends her days working from home with her blue-eyed sidekick, Island Dog Diego, writing, editing, and cultivating content in the hopes of bringing some laughter and lightness to her fellow island souls. She recently published her first children’s book, When You’re a Baby Who Lives on a Rock, and is pretty pumped to share it with all of the island mamas out there. Her days off are typically spent boating, hiking, and meeting up with the neighborhood’s imperious roadside goats, who she shamelessly bribes into friendship. While normalcy was never listed as one of her special skills, Caribbean life may indeed be responsible for new levels of madness. She attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people.

If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous website or follow her daily escapades on Instagram @womanonarock.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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