On Island: Life Among the Coast Dwellers

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Written by: Pat Carney
Published by: Touchwood Editions 
Pages: 304


A collection of stories chronicling the characters and dramas that capture life in small coastal communities.

In this story collection, Pat Carney follows the rhythms of day-to-day life in coastal BC. Featuring a revolving cast of characters—the newly retired couple, the church warden, the musician, the small-town girl with big city dreams—Carney’s keen observations of the personalities and dramas of coastal life are instantly recognizable to readers who are familiar with life in a small community. With her narrative of dock fights, pet shows, family feuds, logging camps and the ever-present tension between islanders and property-owning “off-islanders,” Carney’s witty and perceptive voice describes how the islanders weather the storms of coastal life.

Carney writes evocatively of the magical landscape of the British Columbia coast, where she has lived and worked for five decades. At the same time, she addresses the less-idyllic moments that can also characterize coastal life: power outages, winter storms, isolation. On Island brings the West Coast landscape—human and natural—to life, and gives islanders and mainland dwellers alike a taste of what it means to be “on island.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pat Carney is a journalist, educator, and politician, serving as a former Member of Parliament, cabinet minister, and senator. She was awarded the Order of Canada for her leadership role in these fields. Carney is the author of Trade Secrets: A Memoir (Key Porter) and other works. She lives on Saturna Island in BC’s Gulf Islands.

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