ISLAND WIFE: living on the edge of the wild
My childhood socks were always white, my frocks ironed. Each day predictable, safe. And yet the rebel was growing in me, restless, searching. I escaped. Aged 19, I was swept off my feet by a wild adventurer and married within months. Two small children later (with three more to come) complete with Labradors, cats, a heavy horse and our hearts full of dreams, we arrived on a remote Hebridean island to begin our life on the Tapsalteerie Estate. Nothing was ever predictable again.
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 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.
When I read my own story I can’t believe my life has been this way. It even makes me laugh now, although it didn’t at the time and there’s the point of it.
Any woman will relate to some part, and in that moment, be freed from her self doubt, and say to herself, ‘If she can do that with grace and humour, then so can I.’ It’s not just a book, it’s the courage to keep going, to never give up. __
Island wife is published by Two Roads and is out now.