If Judy Fairbairns were to watch me alighting from the ferry onto the Scottish island where she lives, she would be able to tell a lot about me – by looking at my shoes. Clarks they are, brown leather, strong elastic strap. Sensible shoes. But Judy knows. “I have met many women over the years with the dream dying in them. I know them instantly. They are sensibly clad in stout shoes..”
‘Island Wife’ is a personal journey of someone whose dream almost died as Judy cooked, cleaned, raised children, ran a working farm, hotel, holiday cottage business, recording studio and helped her husband found a still-successful whale-watching business. Her autobiography is moving, often funny but also searingly honest. Her husband’s dream was not always her own, but she signed up for marriage, was in for the long haul. Mixed with laugh-out-loud anecdotes involving children, mud and weather, are meaningful insights into how women become tamed, domesticated. An inspirational read. Uncomfortable maybe, but written with a deep understanding of the dilemmas faced by women.
Towards the end of the book, the author asserts that once we have an awakening, a realisation that we can be more than we have allowed ourselves to become, women will find themselves a guide. You heard it here first. When I write my first book, or sell my first photograph, Judy Fairbairns will be right there in the Acknowledgements.