Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild

Island Wife Living on the Edge of the Wild Island Wife tells the story of Judy who at met her Wild Pioneer He whisked her off into an adventure a marriage of forty years and a life on a remote Hebridean island where the sea birds fly

  • Title: Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild
  • Author: Judy Fairbairns
  • ISBN: 9781444759587
  • Page: 375
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Island Wife tells the story of Judy, who, at 19, met her Wild Pioneer He whisked her off into an adventure, a marriage of forty years, and a life on a remote Hebridean island, where the sea birds fly, the weather is always changing and whales swim in the deep Along the way she bears five children, learns how to help run a rocky hill farm, a hotel, a recording studio andIsland Wife tells the story of Judy, who, at 19, met her Wild Pioneer He whisked her off into an adventure, a marriage of forty years, and a life on a remote Hebridean island, where the sea birds fly, the weather is always changing and whales swim in the deep Along the way she bears five children, learns how to help run a rocky hill farm, a hotel, a recording studio and the first whale watching business in the UK all the while inventively making fraying ends meet When her children start to leave home, things fall apart and there is sadness and joy in how she puts things back together Judy tells her story in a clear and unique voice, in turns funny, unforgettable and intensely moving.

    One thought on “Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild”

    1. A friend bought this book while on a hiking trip in the Outer Hebrides. It is the personal story of a woman who lived on a small island while running a bed and breakfast and raising five children. It was written as part of a women’s consciousness-raising project and reads just like what it is. I could identify with some of the author’s issues which were issues most women my age had to deal with - such as feeling invisible and dismissed – but the style was overly breathless. At the end of t [...]

    2. totally absorbing book of Judy's life , there were parts when I wondered how the hell she put up with a husband who frankly seems to be a selfish, self important, bully. I laughed, I cried (poor duchess) I envied her and I despaired at her. She comes across as humble and yet in places somehow smug, a genuine real life story, warts and all all to the backdrop of what sounds like a beautiful place.

    3. I bought this book after confirming with the seller that Judy's story is from the Isle of xxx, where my husband and I love to vacation. I have long wondered how the islanders live, since we are mere tourists who can enjoy every moment and all weathers because we are on vacation. Apparently the publisher wouldn't let Judy give the name of the island or be clear about where it was, in order to make the book more widely appealing to visitors and natives of other Hebridean islands.I started reading [...]

    4. I enjoyed this book enormously. I liked the way it was written, the way it flowed. And it was satisfying to find at the end that the five children turned out so well and that Judy appeared to be happy with how things turned out in the end. I wonder if she has another book in her, somehow I feel this could be a one-off, which is a pity.

    5. Absolutely loved this book, could totally empathise with Judy in many parts, but felt that Alex was a bit selfish and overbearing. He did exactly as he wanted, but wouldn't allow her to do things she wanted, glad they managed to sort themselves out.

    6. I've wanted to read this book for a while and was finally able to justify buying it for my kindle. It's very well written, the description and dialogue feel like well crafted fiction, but have the sharp edges of memory. Although events are a little muddled in the begining, they quickly settle down into a forward moving narrative. As someone who once entertained dreams of crofting, this was a great read, and it gave me a spirit of adventure, as well as making me stop complaining so much about my [...]

    7. When I ran across this book quite by accident on , I thought it sounded like a compelling and interesting true story written by a woman whose life on a remote island in the Hebrides in many ways was completely different from anyone I have ever known. The book arrived a couple of days ago to my post box in a remote part of Northern New York State on a cold, windy, rainy day. Considering the reputation the Hebrides Islands have for the self-same weather, I thought the arrival of the book was proph [...]

    8. Island Wife tells the story of how, as a young woman of 19, Judy Fairbairns married then, swept along in her husband's wake, gave up their farm in the south of England and bought a large but rundown estate on a Scottish Island. With 5 children in rapid succession, seasonal depression, and not very much money, she worked tirelessly in Spartan conditions, to improve the house and open it as an hotel, whilst the husband (who liked to do his own thing and tended to leave most things to her) develope [...]

    9. Brilliant!It's a rare book that makes me laugh out loud - but this is so well written, so self depreciating, that I found myself laughing on several occasions.I loved Judy, who married at the age of 19 and found herself running a 200 acre farm before the days of many modern conveniences that we take for granted. Having decided to stop at two children she eventually raises five, and having resolved to move hundreds of miles from her in-laws she finds they are neighbours on an isolated Scottish is [...]

    10. A fascinating memoir of Hebridean family life. Judy and Alex meet and marry. Judy goes from being a nineteen year old city girl to a busy wife and mother on a successful farm when the opportunity arises to move to Tapsalteerie - a Hebridean estate - and Alex and Judy take it. Now an island wife, she has "a full hand and no mistake" with a husband, five children, Granny-at-the-Gate and numerous animals let alone the hundreds of visitors to the family's B&B, whale watching business and recordi [...]

    11. What's it like to marry a posh bloke and live on a big country estate and have five children? (The confidence that must entail!!! To be sure you can feed, educate, love, bring up FIVE human beings!!!)Not that much fun, is Judy's answer. This may be very good for curing envy, but it also makes for a dull read.She became an artist eventually. I looked at her work online and it has impact, and so maybe the discomfort was feeding her artistic soul. The black ghost images that reoccur suggest that sh [...]

    12. However many pages of self pitying tripe that didn't really illustrate the normal day to day life of living, working and bringing up a family on an Island. I wanted to read this book as I grew up on an Island as well as working and raising a family there and wanted to see what this authors take on it was. But I found her description of life on the mainland developing their farm far more interesting and should have stopped after those chapters. All she managed to do was show herself to be a weak [...]

    13. I felt this book tended to repeat the I am overworked/covered in mud/tired/cold jokes over and over again. It was only the the last few chapters where a sense poignancy crept in and I felt my feelings to this book thaw. I read it for my offline book club and can't recall whether it was a book I voted for when we made our choices. On a more positive note it does paint a vivid picture of the sheer hard work involved in running accommodation on a Scottish island and the bottomless pit of expenses i [...]

    14. Not really the book for me, I don't tend to enjoy autobiographies (even of people I know and admire) and this read like a diary. A diary with lots of romantic, flowery descriptions, but still a diary. I find it a bit odd that someone would make such personal thoughts and details about their life and family so public, without there being a real story there to drive it. Anyway, 2*, read for book group.

    15. phew, this was quite a ride. She lived my fairytale and it is so good to read the honesty with which she describes the drudgery and the filth and the cold. I really liked her resentment of her husband's romantics, adventurous life - also grindingly hard - and I felt huge solidarity. Not brilliant writing but a good, engaging story. I was amused at her reaction to the bullying of her son, having portrayed her own children as little smug thugs. The rage of a mother.

    16. I really wanted to like this book, and was very interested in the subject matter.I was hoping for a picture of island life and experiences, but the author rarely left her own head or house. How someone can fail to recognise their own unhappiness is beyond me - and although it sounds as if her children had largely a wonderful childhood, her story is more that of a 'surrendered wife' than the wild, feisty creature she tells us that she is. A disappointing read.

    17. 4.5/5. Wise and honest observations and thoughts on the life of a contemporary woman in Scotland, but really anywhere. Most of us can probably relate deeply. I like her writing style: clear, concise, lyrical. You get a great sense of place. Although it helps that I just happen to have taken a trip to the Isle of Mull last week :)

    18. A completely intriguing real life story from beginning to end. Fairbairns doesn't sugar coat the realities of farm life in a remote community and her honesty is refreshing from an "incomer". None of this detracts from her enchantingly lyrical prose as she takes the reader along the highs and lows on the ramshackle road to Tapsalteerie. By the end it feels as though a new friend has been made.

    19. Inspiring book, enjoyed even more because I read it just after visiting the Isle of Mull on which the book is set. Made me laugh and cry and I was constantly thinking about the book even when I wasn't reading it!

    20. Absolutely loved this book. I'm not really into "women's lit" and all that, but truly I feel all women should read this. It is so uplifting in the end, and also amusing along the way. A gem of a book.

    21. There were parts of this book that I enjoyed, and I found her style easy to read, although not very cohesive. However, I could not get past intense dislike for her selfish, bullying husband (maybe I just can't envision hot water only once a week).

    22. This wonderful book was so warm and honest! I felt like part of it was about my life and marriage and I was having a chat with a best friend about our struggles instead of reading a book!! So well written.

    23. A very raw, honest and moving account of one woman's battle against and with the life she chose - her marriage, lifestyle, location on a wee Scottish island - and how what for most of us appears idyllic is far from it psychologically! Beautifully written!

    24. So much of this resonated. I've lived on a Hebridean island. I am a farmer's wife. However, combining the two wow. What resilience. What hope and what a lot of work. One I'll be putting on my shelf to re-read.

    25. She's a very good and engaging writer, this book did make me cry on the train. But there are things hinted at but not expanded, probably to spare other people.

    26. Brilliant! What a great read. So well written, I was with Judy through each turn of every page. Thank you.

    27. This is a fabulously frank look at life as a farmers wife, with an adventurous husband and a batch of children running riot! She really spoke to the woman in me. Fantastic!

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