|This a memoir and travel narrative from the mid-20th century. Lillian Beckwith puts an ad in the papers looking for a place to live for some amount of time for a “rest cure”. She receives many different responses, but the earnestness and the laughs and charm exuding from one particular response causes her to choose to move to one of the Hebridean islands on the west coast of Scotland. This is the 1950s and so this kind of life is at the very least more isolated than she was previously used to. We meet her as she’s arriving first to the coast in the dark, the cold, and the rain, and while she initially avers about getting on the ferry (small, small) she eventually does and makes it to her new place of living. Over the course of the next weeks and months, she falls in love with the island, its people, and the life they live there, and she settles in for a much longer time.
Some of this book is hilarious, and some of it is a little forced. Because of the artificiality of the set up it means that the story doesn’t feel as natural and good as it could, and it’s limited too because Beckwith is not quite as funny as she thinks she is. It’s still a funny book, but I found myself wearing thin on it after about 100 pages or so.