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We Were an Island: The Maine Life of Art and Nan Kellam Hardcover – May 11, 2010
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“Peter Blanchard has brought to life the remarkable saga of Nan and Art Kellam―a couple who lived for decades by themselves on a remote Maine island. Weaving journal entries by the Kellams with deft commentary, he has made substantial a marriage of people and place that only a very few have lived." (Baron Wormser)
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is told not in first person, but is taken from Nan Kellam's journals, ledgers, books and notes that she made about their daily life. From these you can understand Nan and Art's love for each other, even if their motivations are not clear to you; as they weren't to many others. Peter Blanchard's affection for the island and the couple shine through in his descriptions and in the passages from Nan's writings. He covers their life before and their motivations. He is able to convey the growing warmth that their `neighbors' had for them and the assistance they gave to them.
There is some lacking in his explanations for the need to protect open space, as the Kellams grew to realize that they would want to do, for their island after they were gone. But perhaps if these books appeal to you enough to pick them up to read you have the inner wisdom of knowing why unspoiled land needs to be protected. It just would have been better if more of their motivations and that of the Nature Conservancy could have been conveyed to the reader.
Lovers of the outdoors, Maine, the sea, islands and of course a simpler life style would enjoy this book with its many pictures and maps.
This is a well written story woven together from the Kallam's own diaries and Mr. Blanchard's sensitive interpretations and extensive research. While several questions remain unanswered this was a fascinating read with arresting photographs illustrating a life both strange and exhilarating.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots in this book, lots missing. As mentioned prior, how did they finance their life, what was the deep-seated motivations for their isolation? Read morePublished 13 days ago by Margaret Galloway
Fascinating narrative, would have loved to have met this couple.Published 11 months ago by Keith Moffat
A beautiful story of determined independence and extraordinary skills.Published 16 months ago by martha Harmon
My book group read this and most wanted to know more detail about how this couple lived. Most of us thought we would not enjoy such a life, but a minority would like to try... Read morePublished on March 28, 2013 by Nancy Cook
Very interesting book, especially since I am originally from Maine. I admire the couple for following their dreams. Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by C. L. Black-Ives
This book is pure magic. Beautifully written, with wonderfully evocative photographs, it tells the story of something we've all imagined--what would it be like to live on an... Read morePublished on June 23, 2011 by Arthur Vanderbilt