Customer Reviews


85 Reviews
5 star:
 (55)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (7)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of a Female Warrior / Worrier
How I enjoyed this book. Quite different, so well written and I was swept along with the tales beautifully described by Judy Fairbairns of her life on meeting Alex.
I really don't want to give much away but I will say that Island Wife as well as humourous does leave you feeling your life is quite possibly dull / far too sedentary; as Judy tackles life on a...
Published 17 months ago by S. Lumley

versus
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I obtained this book at the same time as getting Cheryl Strayed's Wild and thought it might be interesting reading about these two remarkable women and their challenging experiences.

This is Fairbairns' story of her life as a carefree, somewhat rebellious, young woman swept off her feet by a hardy 'alpha male' farmer and their unusual transformation from...
Published 16 months ago by S. Jones


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 18 April 2013
By 
S. Jones (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I obtained this book at the same time as getting Cheryl Strayed's Wild and thought it might be interesting reading about these two remarkable women and their challenging experiences.

This is Fairbairns' story of her life as a carefree, somewhat rebellious, young woman swept off her feet by a hardy 'alpha male' farmer and their unusual transformation from successful farmers to opening the first whale watching business in the UK. Her writing is vivid yet matter of fact, laced with heartache and humour.

I do think the book would appeal to women readers perhaps more than men. I say this as my wife read it as well and she said she could relate to some experiences and statements Fairbairns expressed more than I did as a less than alpha male! Perhaps as a result my wife enjoyed this book more than I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tales of a Female Warrior / Worrier, 21 Mar 2013
By 
S. Lumley (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
How I enjoyed this book. Quite different, so well written and I was swept along with the tales beautifully described by Judy Fairbairns of her life on meeting Alex.
I really don't want to give much away but I will say that Island Wife as well as humourous does leave you feeling your life is quite possibly dull / far too sedentary; as Judy tackles life on a Hebridean island with 5 young children, a vast estate to run (encompassing hotel, cottages, livestock, inlaws and pets) with quite the most chauvinistic, uncommunicative yet charismatic husband.
The book touches on her bouts of depression and feelings of wretched self esteem, lack of identity and 'joy de vivre'. You really want to reach out and give her a big hug. I also felt enormously frustrated at her stoicism - that's women for you!!
However - the ending is good - and I immediately looked up her blog to see where she is at now.
Her writing is beautiful. I am quite sure most people will really enjoy this book.
I am taking on board totally her Can Do attitude and I'm not complaining about my comparatively meagre domestic chores!!!!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lady to look up to!, 27 Feb 2013
By 
Mrs. Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A near miraculous tale, well told, of a courageous, bright, strong woman who of necessity has to reinvent herself several times during the few decades we get to know her. Judy Fairbairns is clearly relishing her chance to the tell her side of the story; as one half of a full on no holds barred marriage, managing a relationship that shows every dangerous sign of being teeteringly top heavy in the `Master of The House's' direction.

The work that she gets through with a laugh and a wink will take your breath away as much as the sheer poetry she finds on her Topsy Turvey Island. Every day is an adventure, much is asked and much is given, this is a different life, for sure, a paradise for children, free of the computer, phone, tv, just clear sea air and trees to climb, deer to watch, animals to care for. As Judy generously ties up all the loose ends we feel part of the family and our caring is respected to the extent that I am now longing for the next decade to unravel for the Fairbairns one and all.

The writer is always prepared to accept personal responsibility. She made me feel close to her during the small tragedies, domestic emergencies and demanding challenges that inevitably cropped up. Mistakes are made and openly admitted to, with wistful regret. I liked the way in which Judy does take things to heart so; it rang a lot of bells for me. We are bred the same way!

At last a book that enlivens, entertains, rewards and touches the heart. As I romped through I kept thinking of different friends and family I want to buy it for, knowing that they would really enjoy it too. A great choice for a ladies book club for sure as Judy really feels like one of us, rich with wry humour, she heroically tackles the human side of feminism, the new role of women today stuck still somehow living a nineteenth century life. The reality of living with a Granny-at the-Gate, entertaining all sorts of paying guests, getting to know the young enthusiasts who come to support the whale watching business, bringing up children who just refuse to sit down quietly and a bearded wild man of Borneo husband who doesn't bother with washing. My only problem with this book was that I kept wanting to shout at him. He is apparently very good at whatever his latest enthusiasm is but he isn't able to see what he is doing to his wife, at times, anyway. She is such a support to him even with the occasional blip, what a heroine.

You can tell, I hope, that I loved it all and will be highly recommending this super story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and fascinating real-life story of an extraordinary woman, 30 Dec 2012
By 
Schneehase (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My goodness but Judy Fairbairns deserves some TLC* and TTH* and recognition for her extraordinary life! Married young, lumbered with 5 children and a husband who has no idea of what a woman needs (at least occasionally!), Judy has spent her entire adult life working like a slave at her husband's businesses - first a farm, then a massive hotel with add-ons like a recording studio and whale watching business with farm animals as well. I read this book in one day with increasing horror and respect for the way that Judy, completely unprepared for this way of life, rolled up her sleeves and got stuck in, year after year, with no reward, no money, no recognition, no hope of remission. Her husband was an 'ideas man' who kept coming up with ways of working and making money all of which involved her in pretty much 24/7 work as well as trying to bring up a family. This is a truly remarkable story of survival almost against the odds and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks (a) farming sounds like a nice ecological thing to do, (b) running a guest house will be fun, (c) being married to a farmer would be romantic, (d) having lots of children would be stimulating, (e) living on a remote Scottish island would be a great way to get away from it all ... this book will cure you instantly. It should also be read by anyone who thinks they have a hard lot in life - compared to this woman, you are sleeping on rose petals in some kind of utopian paradise!
This would be a great book to give a disgruntled teen who thinks their life is too hard, or a complaining co-worker who thinks they work too many hours, or almost anyone who thinks that their current life is tough - trust me, this woman had it much tougher for much longer.

*Tender Loving Care and Time To Herself
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill book you cant put down., 5 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Judith writes from her heart without leaving out the hard parts. I especially like the way she threads her feelings through the narrative without being heavy or negative and I love her humour. It is already doing the rounds to all the Mums I know in similar straits.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Communication is key!, 28 Oct 2013
By 
John Howarth-brown (Emsworth, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild (Paperback)
I quite enjoyed this book but increasingly found the main character , Judy, irritating. She seemed totally unable to communicate with her husband in any way and was continually swallowing her opinions so that poor Alex was quite justified in thinking that she agreed with his ideas - they never ever talked things through. As a consequence one child was packed off to boarding school where he was thoroughly miserable and she expressed surprise when one of their helpers refused to do a task set by Alex, and he didn't query her decision. Judy should have tried doing this too!!
As others have said, the book was a little bit "me, me, me" and it became wearing. As a reader you felt like grabbing hold of her and shouting "DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT - take action - talk to him - rebel"
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly good read, 18 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this book for my kindle after I heard the author on Radio Scotland.
Thoroughly enjoyed the book.What a really varied and interesting life story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living the Dream?, 8 Feb 2013
By 
Angel - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Judy Fairburns writes beautifully and from the heart in this her memoir of her life on the Island of Mull with her husband Alex. She raises 5 children along the way dealing with setbacks large and small, that any mother in a more suburban setting will relate to despite the setting that, for me, is definitely "elsewhere".

From the age of 19 when she meets her man, up to her life now the book follows the author through 40 years and does not sugar coat what is not always an easy existence, despite moments of genuinely laugh out loud lightness, this is no portrayal of an island idyll or of the perfect relationship and is a warts and all story of a life lived differently.

I really enjoyed this book which was a real page turner and didn't drag at all for me. It resonated with me in a way that I wasn't expecting, and by the end of the book I was fully on the author's side, having enjoyed every word. Recommended, an intelligent, interesting and inspirational read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, good for a slow read, 10 Jan 2013
By 
Joanne K. Pilsworth (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The first thing that struck me about this book is that it is not a quick read. It is one of those books to savour, to read a few pages and enjoy the descriptive language, and come back to it later. In fact, it is ideal for putting in my travelling business suitcase and reading it over the course of trips away.

I selected this book because a friend of mine lives on a Scottish island, so I wondered what it was like. Of course, my friend's situation and this author's seemed markedly different. The house my friend lives in is entirely habitable, unlike the house they bought: mould patches, anyone?

From the description of farm hands forming an arch at the wedding with their hoes, to the tales of mother-in-law living at the bottom of the drive, this is the sort of book that you can picture the situation in your mind. The conversation with the mother-in-law after a food delivery van attempted to reverse up her driveway, only to leave mushy strawberries, which in turn led to a quick change in the pudding on offer to the guests. Then there was the first time her husband attempted to work with their newly acquired sheepdog. You can almost visualise the sheepdog throwing her paws in the air, with mutterings of 'stupid human' before she goes off on her own to round up the runaway sheep.

I will admit that I am only partway through this book but what I have read so far demosntrates an author with the vocabulary to do her surroundings justice. I think I am going to enjoy the rest of the book, and I am sure if you enjoy a good, descriptive book, you will too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the armchair escapist in us all!, 16 April 2013
By 
P. Stokes "Historian71" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Wasn't sure what to expect, perhaps another tale of middle class English woman overcoming life amongst the quaint locals in deepest, darkest Scotland but this is an amazing story that will leave you exhausted at the sheer hard work and determination to make life work.

Beautifully and honestly written, Fairbairns doesn't sugar coat her married life, beginning on a Norfolk farm before moving to the island. Refreshing in her openness on the overwhelming nature of motherhood while trying to run a guest house and working farm, with a husband who doesn't quite understand or listen, at no point does the narrative enter "poor me" scenarios. It is very easy to see where the depression sets in and why, despite living what some idealists would see as a perfect life, reality can throw a bucket of cold water over these dreams.

Anyone visiting the wild Hebrides or Argyll island who is tempted with life there would do well to read this book. Not as a warning but as a guide that with some ways of life hard graft becomes an every day occurrence. Don't let that put you off though as from start to end you'll enjoy this glimpse into the way of the Island Wife.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild
Island Wife: Living on the Edge of the Wild by Judy Fairbairns (Paperback - 15 Aug 2013)
9.09
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews