In this story collection, Pat Carney follows the rhythms of day-to-day life in coastal BC. Featuring a revolving cast of archetypal characters--the church warden, the musician, the prawn fisherman, the master gardener--Carney's keen observations of the personalities and dramas of rural living are instantly recognizable to anyone who's ever lived in a small town. In the midst of dock fights, a literal case of bats in the belfry, dog shows and the ever-present tensions between islanders and property-owning "off-islanders," Carney's witty and perceptive voice describes how the islanders weather the storms and ultimately stick together.
As much as the people she describes, Carney is also finely attuned to their setting, and writes evocatively of the unique and magical landscape of the British Columbia coast. At the same time, she addresses the less idyllic moments that can also characterize island life: power outages, winter storms, isolation and supply shortages. On Island brings the whole of the West Coast landscape--human and natural--to vivid life, and gives islanders and mainland dwellers alike a taste of what it means to be "on island."