Sea Room: An Island Life in the Hebrides (Paperback)
"Nicolson's chronicle is a fine book . . . Readers will be duly awed by his delicately layered story." -The New York Times Book Review
In 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad for a small cluster of three islands-The Shiants (Gaelic meaning "holy" or "enchanted")-which lie east of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Sheer black cliffs drop five hundred feet into the cold, dark, rip currents of the Minch, lounging seals crowd at their feet and thousands upon thousands of sea birds swarm overhead in the sky. Nicolson inherited the islands when he was twenty-one and in this spellbinding and luminous book, he recalls his keenly deep connection to the wild, windswept, and yet enchantingly beautiful property. Not merely a haven of solitude, the islands, with a centuries-old past haunted by restless ghosts and tales of ancient treasure, came to be for Nicolson his heartland and a "sea room"-a sailing term he uses to mean "the sense of enlargement that island life can give you."
In passionate, prismatic prose, Sea Room celebrates this extraordinary landscape, exploring Nicolson's complicated relationship to the paradoxes of island life and the wonder of revelatory engagement with our natural world.
“Nicolson's chronicle is a fine book. Readers . . . will be duly awed by his delicately layered story.” —Erica Sanders, The New York Times Book Review
“No other book has given me as rich a sense of what makes a small island so revelatory of our life on Earth.” —London Review of Books
“A lovely biography of a place: the Shiants, in the Hebrides, are an island threesome of grass, wind, and birds that have had a long human presence and are sometimes the home of travel and environmental writer Nicolson . . . Rich with history and curiosity.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An adventure story with Hemingway highs and is also unselfconscious, wonderfully idiosyncratic, and, above all, beautifully written.” —Literary Review