ISLAND HOME by Wendy Day


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Miss Day (daughter of the late Clarence), her British husband and two small children preside over a six-mile-wide island, Remire, in the Indian Ocean, and this is the account of their coping and culling a livelihood from sea and soil with their cadre of native (Seychellois) workers. If Miss Day's narrative seems at times frenetic and downright irritable, it's no wonder, staggering as she does under the White Woman's burden (although the workers come in variegated shades). A typical day in full charge-grimly supervising work from rock removal through agricultural pursuits and running the ""company"" store in addition to caring for her children--is exhausting to contemplate. The most frazzling of the author's problems, however, seem to center on dealing with the Seychellois--their work slowdowns, feuds and major thievery. ""You!"" snarls Miss Day to herself as she doctors mites for worms, ""You with the big brown eyes staring at me. Do you think? Are you a sentient human being? Or just an animal. . . . "" But with her (now) three children, whose education and moral direction she supervises so they won't go the way of the Seychellois, she is in the main content. Humorless and hard as their island rock pile.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1970
Publisher: Random House