K.A. Albury’s Life on a Rock is set on a small and isolated island in the Bahamas. Kate and Peter Albury managed Highborne Cay for five years; long hours, hard physical labour and endless worry about money. This adventure definitely made them stronger in so many ways. The workload is endless, there are only a few days off, and surprises are around every corner.
There are many interesting stories in the book. They reflect life in so many ways. Kate goes through all possible emotions from anger to insecurity, suspicion to pure happiness. Living on a small island far away from everything makes you self-reliant. The problem is that you need to be a doctor, vet, engineer, builder, judge, businessman, and so much more. If you’re in a need for a doctor in an emergency, well, you won’t get one.
I can’t imagine what it would feel like moving to a remote island and almost immediately be tied up and robbed. Not everyone would continue their journey on the island after that, or after the second robbery… The weather has its own impact, as well as devious workers, mischievous visitors, and faraway owners. Luckily there are also many fond memories, like surprise parties and a wedding.
I enjoyed to read about the Alburys’ five years on the island, with all the happiness and sorrow. Especially the parts when they felt like they had achieved things or overcome something that worried them, I felt relieved and happy for them. The book was written in a way that I could sometimes feel the hot sun on my skin while reading the book. Another thing I liked was how Kate realized one of the basic elements for happiness, the small things we take for granted. She loved her morning walks on the island, a night off with her husband, and good friends you can count on. Mostly you don’t need all the frills and gimmicks we think we can’t live without.
A couple of things bothered me though. One thing that put me off is sentences like “little did I know…”, and unfortunately there were too many of them in this book. Another thing I wasn’t too pleased with was the constant complains about how hard life is. I fully understand that managing a remote island is no easy task, but when you choose to do that you know you will live in isolation, and that you don’t have all the commodities of modern life, or the same kind of social life you are used to in a city. I am happy she shared her thoughts about this in her book, but in my honest opinion, too much is too much. When you take up on an opportunity of an adventure like this, life will be tougher than you are used to, and you simply have to deal with it. Kate found many ways to deal with it, and she found outlets for her frustration and doubts, so I think it would have done some good if there would have been a bit less complaints about how hard life is on the island.
All in all it was worth the read. I am pleased Kate shared her true feelings, like how insecure she was when when a woman was all over her husband, disappointment when someone she trusted was behind some unfortunate events, and how she was both scared and courageous during the robberies. In many ways the book was straightforward and honest. At least I’d like to think so.