The summary of Tilly Culme-Seymour's Island Summers: Memories of a Norwegian Childhood made me think straightaway of Tove Jansson's The Summer Book (short post on it here), and for those of us who are drawn to island life, this "luminescent memoir about a Norwegian island, and three generations of women" sounds just the thing:
"In 1947, Tilly's grandmother bought an island. Its name is Småhølmene and it sits just off the coast of Norway. At first sight, the island seems bare, hardly more than a collection of rocks rising determinedly out of the water. But Mor-mor, as she was known, could see that Småhølmene was more than that when she purchased it in exchange for a mink coat.
She built a two-storeyed cabin on the island, an enclave against the sea water that would dash against the outlying rocks, galloping up the lagoon to slap against the moored boats. This is where Mor-mor and her young family would come every summer, escaping their mollycoddled life in the English countryside to run wild, find gulls' eggs, row on the lagoon and forage for juniper berries.
This is the inheritance that Tilly embraced many years later when her own mother brought her family to Småhølmene. And when the island was in danger of being sold, she was spurred to do something that no-one else had done before - she decided to spend a winter there, alone with her boyfriend. Fending for themselves, they were utterly cut off from outside help. But, in the silence of the cold, they gradually discovered that even in the bleakest of times, the island could take on new life."