Surviving the Island of Grace, by Leslie Leyland Fields
Surviving the Island of Grace (352 pages) is a powerfully rendered story of a twenty-year-old newlywed transplanted from New Hampshire to a remote island in the immense Gulf of Alaska. Here, she must learn to live communally with her new family in primitive conditions without running water, electricity, or contact with the outside world. Even more challenging, she enters the dangerous and exhausting world of commercial salmon fishing. With an unflinching gaze, the author writes incisively about her first fifteen seasons on the island, exploring paradoxes of wilderness living, her changing spirituality, her difficult transition from young women to wife and mother, and her unusual childhood that prepared her for this uncommon life.
“To deem this solely a memoir of her life spent as the wife of a salmon fisherman on a remote Alaska island would be missing the boat, so to speak, for Fields’ powerful poetic prose deals with themes as large as the great outdoors in which she struggles to make her way and find her place.”
“Leslie Leyland Fields’ engrossing memoir chronicles the grueling and sometimes treacherous existence she choise, which included settling on two uninhabited islands, building houses from scratch, gutting deer, and intermittently traveling around the globe.