I gave this book to my wife for Christmas and borrowed it back the next day. Eventually I was forced to return it and I'm pleased to say she is now enjoying it as much as I did.
Nantucket Island Living is a sumptuous portrait of a special and highly individual place. Nantucket lies thirty miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and according to the author it is the island's isolation that accounts for its charm, in two particular ways: its distinctive weathered shingle homes reflect the simple, functional demands of it's early influences - a solid Quaker outlook and the self-reliance of a population that accommodated itself to the elements and made a living from the sea; but after the demise of the whaling industry Nantucket managed to reinvent itself as the ultimate island getaway for affluent second-homers and holiday makers, who recognised that it's history and traditions were its greatest assets and should not be subsumed, as so often happens elsewhere, by the trappings of commercialism. The resulting balance of the quaint with the sophisticated is beautifully captured here in both words and images.
What struck me most, though, is that wherever it might appear on the map, and whether fashionably cosmopolitan or untouched and untamed, an island is an island. 3,500 miles from Nantucket, on the other side of the Atlantic, my wife and I happen to live on an otherwise uninhabited island, and the two could not be more different; but reading of the author's love of her adopted home, and seeing through the photographs how completely the islanders' experience is shaped by the water, I can see that we have much in common.
This is a highly successful collaboration between writer and photographer. I recommend it.
Having recently returned for our second visit to this beautiful, unique island, we came upon this publication in a bookstore, noted all the details and ordered it through Amazon on our return to the UK. Whether you have visited the island before or not it will give much pleasure. If you haven't, you soon will - the book captures so much of the Nantucket charm that you will want to visit and bring it to life. If you have visited, then it gives you a quick Nantucket fix and start dreaming or planning your next trip! It is a beautiful book and a worthwhile addition to any coffee table selection.