Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild
A memoir of a woman's life on a remote Scottish island: from young girl to wife to mother of five, hotelier and domestic miracle worker. Funny and tender, this is a book of endless horizons and a breath of fresh air. 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. Along the way she bears five children, learns how to 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.
Brave, funny, poignant, beautifully written - in Island Wife, Judy Fairbairns tells a tale of cosseted girl who abandons all for love of a man who offers a life in which nothing is certain and everything changes. A story of triumph and disaster, joy and despair, the loneliness of motherhood and the companionship of children. But above all it's a story of the struggle to make the dream come true in a crazy tumbledown mansion in a wild corner of the most beautiful of the silvery sisters of the Hebrides, with a husband who was not, in spite of it all, a mistake. -- Elisabeth Luard, food-writer, journalist, and broadcaster This book brings back such memories of neighbouring island years which were long ago the inspiration for the creation of Katie Morag. Judy Fairbairns captures the familiar pioneering passion of that time in the '60s and then takes us on the very personal subsequent journey ... Humour and honesty prevail throughout and always there is the poetic backdrop of the wild landscape of the island and the wild emotions that come and go with its tides. -- Mairi Hedderwick, author of the Katie Morag series Warm but never sentimental, Judy Fairbairns' writing treads a deft path through difficult times. It balances wry humour and lyrical delight, practical toughness and vulnerability in equal measure. Quite apart from the human lives contained and celebrated, the light sure touch of the writing is a joy to read. -- Philip Gross, novelist and poet Island Wife is a breezy (in every sense), frequently funny and often dreadfully sad tale of a madcap adventure with an intrepid farmer husband and five children on a romantic Hebridean island, which often turns out to be not quite as romantic as the wide-eyed author had imagined. -- Christopher Matthew, author and journalist Judy has written a wonderful collection of tales full of humour, hardship, humanity and wisdom set in a rich seasonal landscape of a remote Scottish island. A vivid portrait is painted of the land and characters and her affinity to nature is most endearing. It is a heart warming and honest story of love and companionship. Good for the soul. -- Julie Mitchell-Galloway, Artistic Director, Edinburgh Dance Academy The day-to-day details of a family who has followed the man's ambitions to a remote island are hilarious and very touching. A beautifully told story. -- Mike Rutherford, founding member of Genesis
Judy Fairbairns has lived on her Scottish island with her husband since 1978. Married now for 40 years, she has five children, all grown up - one of whom runs the whale watching business she and her husband started. Island Wife is her first book. She paints, takes wild walks and is working on a novel. She blogs regularly at http://judyfairbairns.co.uk/ Twitter: @JudyFairbairns Author Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JudyFairbairns