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Life on a Rock Paperback – February 16, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439210063
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439210062
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #951,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Having spent five years managing the tiny island of Highborne Cay, Exuma in the Bahamas, the author paints a vivid, heartfelt and surprising picture of Caribbean life. To say that there's never a dull moment on Highborne Cay--where Albury and her husband have left their comfortable big-city life in Nassau to work 12 to 14 hour days in a place reachable only by seaplane or boat--in a vast understatement. In the first 50 pages, armed robbers terrorize this naïve Bahamian couple, a guest nearly chops off his fingers in a fish-cleaning accident and a woman docks at the marina with her husband's dead body aboard her boat. If not for its highly specific details, this exotic memoir easily could be mistaken for fiction. The author moves us swifly through her unusual world, scattering photos of the island and its inhabitants throughout the book, lending a personal touch. What's not shown in pictures is deftly illustrated in words. Albury introduces wonderfully drawn characters...adding lift to the narrative. Some passages border on the poetic... To her credit she doesn't flinch from the uncomfortable truth of the Caribbean's inequality and desperate poverty. From watching a Sperm whale being devoured by tiger sharks to staying on the alert for drug runners, Albury reveals that island life is less a breeze than a whirlwind. Just another fascinating day in paradise. --Kirkus Discoveries, February 2009

"...Albury's fascinating account about a historical island in the Central Bahamas is a treasured and most interesting read..." --Sir Geoffrey A. D. Johnstone, KCMG, former Member of The Bahamas House of Assembly and Deputy to the Governor General

From the Back Cover

Kate lived on Highborne Cay, Exuma, in the Bahamas for five years. Most people think it would be a vacation paradise to live and work on a small island, away from the stress and confusion of everyday life.

This book will tell otherwise. It is the true story of a woman who learned aboaut courage, fortitude and patience as she continually faced extraordinary and often dangerous situations in a place that had no doctor, no police nor other emergency personnel. Her everyday experiences in an isolated surrounding provide excitement and give a fresh and thought-provoking view of unusual events that were part of her life on this tiny, unprotected island in the Caribbean.

From an armed robbery, drug traders and illegal immigrants, to medical mishaps and disasters at sea, Kate learned in those short five years that she and her husband, Peter, would be forced to step forward to protect the island and its people. In their jobs, they would need to cope--or quit.


More About the Author

K. Alison Albury was born in Nassau, Bahamas shortly after World War II. She moved to the United States in 1945 and lived in Pittsford, New York until mid-1962 when her family returned to Nassau. In 1992, she and her husband took an unusual job on a small island in the Bahamas archipelageo, and her book is based on this adventure of five years. LIFE ON A ROCK ranked as a top best-seller in the Bahamas in 2010 and even received accolades from the Bahamas Prime Minister. Alison lives with her husband, Peter, and their Jack Russell Terrier in Nassau.

Customer Reviews

The story you have woven is compellingly detailed.
MamaLorax
I especially enjoyed all the wonderful descriptions of island life that evoked the flora and fauna of the Bahamas that I remember from my childhood in Nassau.
Amy J. French
I could barely put the book down at night because I just knew something exciting awaited on the next page and then, oh, just one more.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leslie B. on March 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
K.A. Albury and her husband Peter did what most people only dream of. Take off to an island in paradise. Mrs. Albury's clear discription of both sides of "the island life" that she encountered was fascinating to read about. The strength of character it took to continue on in the constant face of fear for ones safety and adversity, be it with the staff or the environment or a combination of all that it takes to run a town from 40 miles by sea or air from the closest civilization came across in the book time and again. Her discription of the pure joy and appreciation of seeing the sun rise and set at the top of the island, the clear blue waters, the wonderful fishing and being around great people makes one want to head right on out there and find an island of their own.
A very enjoyable read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In a casual, almost conversational style, Ms. Albury recounts the true story of her exciting five years on Highborne Cay with husband Peter. Within minutes I felt as if I was sipping a Pina Colada under a shady palm tree, feeling the caress of an ocean breeze as I listened to a friend share one riveting adventure after another. Wild horses couldn't drag me away! I could barely put the book down at night because I just knew something exciting awaited on the next page and then, oh, just one more. I was never disappointed.

Ms. Albury's portrayal of island life captures the lighthearted interludes as deftly as the occasional moments of terror, and she graciously shares a few poignant reflections along the way. Every word is offered with unflinching honesty. This is Ms. Albury's first work, and it's truly a delight.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen Hallings on June 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down and neither will you. It is a compelling story of a courageous woman and her husband who take on a real life adventure, while managing an out island in the Caribbean.
Kate has my true admiration that she could not only endure the hardships that came her way but could often make the outcome better. She never lost the faith. She seems to not know the word "quit". She makes me want to get out of my "comfort zone" and feel the world around me.
From combating robbers,giving VHF communications to boaters, managing "Cheap Charlie's" and the marina and learning to shoe her beloved horse...she is inspiring. And with her husband, Peter, by her side they make an enviable team.

Men, women and teens alike will enjoy this pioneering adventure.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Tiberio on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read a lot of travelogues and have traveled to similar places myself so I was very interested to read this book when I stumbled upon it, unfortunately it didn't live up to what I had hoped for. A number of the exceedingly high reviews and comments here come from people that seem to know Mrs. Albury personally, and I have to say that probably has an effect on their ratings. As a completely objective reader I did find the writing to be just OK, more in line with a travel journal a family member might write on vacation than anything. It also must be noted that much of the book really goes nowhere or accomplishes anything of real value, and many stories abruptly end or major events that get built up to and then are never explained. There are some small vignettes of specific events and happenings that are very engrossing and enjoyable, exciting even, but they are few and far between and get mired in a lot of repetitive bits. It also is very hard for an unbiased reader to not pick up on some glaring issues and themes. These are relatively well-off people that are not used to manual labor and actual work, and for all of the complaining and whinging it is hard to feel sympathetic. The author attempts to portray herself as a sympathetic figure but it just falls entirely flat. There are complaints about money throughout being tight but they buy a 19' Mako boat on a whim, take trips all over the place, own a horse, fly whenever/wherever they want, and more. It really is just a rich couple having to live like normal people, and still far above the level of most around them. That brings me to my next issue, and one another reviewer here mentioned. The portrayal and attitude towards the local staff members comes off very poorly. I won't go so far as to say racist as someone else did but that isn't far off. This book has some good aspects to it but on the whole it is tedious and tiresome and there are just so many truly wonderful books in this genre that it isn't worth the effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William Oster on April 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book! The writer,Kate Albury, and her husband have my admiration .They did what I might have wanted to do but did not have the courage.

They took a job on a small Island in the Bahamas and met challenges including life threats that would make most people cut and run.

They did not play life on the safe side .Most people approaching 50 years old are looking for more security.They took a chance .New jobs and new careers;they stretched then grew stronger and more resilient.

This is a good story woven into the sun ,water, dangers of the Caribbean. You will enjoy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amy J. French on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
A thoroughly enjoyable account of the ups and downs of "Paradise".
Alternately sobering and inspiring, Kate's warm and conversational style has you easily sharing in both her disappointments and her triumphs.
I especially enjoyed all the wonderful descriptions of island life that evoked the flora and fauna of the Bahamas that I remember from my childhood in Nassau. (NB: You do not have to be from the Bahamas to enjoy this book!) This true story of the Alburys' adventures on Highborne Cay will keep you fully engaged to the end.
A very fun read!
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