Blog No 176 – Book Review – The Island House by Mary Considine

As I have an enthusiasm for books, I’ve accepted a further offer to write a book review for Mary Considine’s latest book The Island House. Mary is a new author to me, nevertheless I was keen to commence this memoir.

The book is available in most bookstores and online retailers now. Congratulations to Mary for such a truly inspirational book.

Book Description

Mary and Patrick’s dream was to live in London, have 2.4 children, the nice house, the successful jobs. But life had other plans, and in one traumatic year that all came crashing down.

Bruised and battered, Mary finds herself pulled towards Cornwall and dreams of St George’s Island, where she spent halcyon childhood summers.  So, when an opportunity arises to become tenants if they renovate the old Island House, they grab it with both hands.

Life on the island is hard, especially in winter, the sea and weather, unforgiving.  But the rugged natural beauty, the friendly ghosts of previous inhabitants, and the beautiful isolation of island life bring hope and purpose, as they discover a resilience, they never knew they had.

It has been empty now for six years, and it is full of ghosts. Every wall is patterned with black mould, in lacy fronds or lumpy stripes; every window in the house is broken.

We pile bedding, blankets, coats on to the bed and the cats climb in with us, mourning their lost comforts. We listen to the wails of wind and the menace of waves through the broken glass and breathe in the spores and the damp, clinging together, our family, in the faint warmth of the bed.

We are entirely happy.

About The Author – Mary Considine

Mary Considine

Growing up in the flat landscape of Bedfordshire, Mary Considine fell in love with Cornwall and the sea on her first visit as a small child. Distracted by the badlands of London, she spent the 90s writing and directing plays on the London and Edinburgh Fringe, and scriptwriting. Work included Angels, Time Out Critics Choice; The Other Half, commissioned by the Carlton TV screenwriting initiative; and a short film The Hand Job, shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank/Channel 4 short film competition. The noughties were spent teaching drama in secondary schools in the hills of North Yorkshire and, in pursuit of her now husband, back in London, before realising her impossible dream of moving to St George’s Island in 2010. 

She now lives in North Devon with her husband, Patrick, and seven horses.

Book Review

I found this book to have both heart and soul, it was very inspiring indeed. This book provides an insight into Mary & Patrick’s life. Commencing in the city of London and moving onto St George’s Island, Cornwall.  Along the way, there’s moments of endearing friendships, compassionate family members and willing volunteers.

You’ll observe the evolution of pigs, ducks, dogs, and bees. The creating of being self-sufficient from the island. The restoration of an old property and the conservation of the island. The book elaborates on the history of the island and its inhabitants.

Mary & Patrick’s life does experience some personal challenges, both happy and sad moments, which you’ll learn more throughout the book

This is a beautiful written memoir, and I would recommend this book to any avid reader or book club reading lists.

Mary Considine Social Media and Random Things Tour

Weekly Blog No 136 – Annual Reading List

My goal for 2018 was to read more than 24 books. My reading this year has been hit and miss. I know I did a count in September and it was 21 books and I thought this was going to be an easy target to achieve with an average of 2 books a month. I was very much mistaken because it remained at 21 books, therefore I didn’t reach my target.

Here is my reading list: –

  1. Flesh and Blood – Stephen McGann
  2. A Little Leaving – Anne Bennett
  3. The Liverpool Rose – Katie Flynn
  4. Me Life Story – Scarlett Moffat
  5. The River Maid – Dilly Court
  6. Fear of the Collar – Patrick Touher
  7. Mothering Sunday – Rosie Goodwin
  8. A Daughter Courage – Kitty Neale
  9. The Soldiers Daughter – Rosie Goodwin
  10. An Orphans Secret – Maggie Hope
  11. Mill Girls – Tracey Johnson
  12. Dancing in the Dark – Maureen Lee
  13. Pie N Mash & Prefabs – Norman Jacobs
  14. The Report – Jessica Francis Kane
  15. A view Across the Mersey – Anne Baker
  16. The Summer Maiden – Dilly Court
  17. A Promise Between Friends – Carol Rivers
  18. Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken – The Secret Barrister
  19. No Silver Spoon – Katie Flynn
  20. A Christmas Candle – Katie Flynn
  21. First Man in Leading the Front – Ant Middleton

A few new authors this year and the Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken by The Secret Barrister was a very educational book into the legal system in the U.K.

A book that very educational was Flesh and Blood by Stephen McGann. A very informative book on family and medical history through the decades/centuries in Ireland and U.K. I do love to hear about people’s family history and even better if I get educated on the way. Worth a read.

As for the First Man in the Leading the Front by Ant Middleton. I think this man is misjudged by his size and chosen career. I wouldn’t make assumptions and read this book.

The most horrific book I read this year was Fear of the Collar by Patrick Touher. The cruelty to innocent children was unbelievable and was well worth the read. The eye opener.

In 2019, I will aim to read 24 books again. I will have too as my house is full of books and I need to de clutter. Let’s see how this year goes. Happy Reading.


Does anyone have any book recommendations?