by Dan Boothby (Picador) ISBN: 9781509800759
As a young boy growing up in a hippy commune in the Seventies, the author was gripped by one book that opened his life to adventure and made him long to live on a British island in a lighthouse with a pet otter. The book was Gavin Maxwell’s Raven Seek Thy Brother. Ever since that moment Boothby also dreamed of becoming a writer.
He published guidebooks and completed a first draft of his first real book, but didn’t find a publisher. He returned to the island of Gavin Maxwell; the island of his dreams. He became a volunteer at the Visitor’s Centre of the Lighthouse Island and stayed in Maxwell’s house. And he wrote the book. It’s narrated as a personal history and Boothby weaves in the biography of Maxwell.
This book moved me. It is skilfully crafted and lyrically written. It’s not only about the desolate wilderness of the island, or the story of the glamorous author Maxwell, it’s also about the journey of Boothby searching for meaning. Island of Dreams is a story of dreams and inspiration, a story about resilience, perseverance and hope.
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