Have you ever seen photos of or visited a tiny remote island and wondered what it would be like to actually live there, so far removed from society?

Today’s featured book, set on an Out Island in the Bahamas, may make you shy away from the very idea as you read how reality quickly disintegrates this islander’s remote island fantasy.



Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and choose to buy something, it won’t cost you anything, but I’ll get an itsy bitsy commission as a thank you for sharing something cool with you.


out islands exumas Bahamas Life on a Rock island book islanders



The book: Life on a Rock: A Bahamas Out-Island Adventure

Written by: K.A. Albury

Originally published: 2008


One of our site’s mottos is, “It’s not all sunshine and umbrella drinks – at least not all the time.” Some days in the tropics can feel like paradise, while others can make you question your sanity in trying to make a life in such a challenging locale.

The five years spent on Highborne Cay in the Bahamas that are chronicled in this book bounce between the two extremes. The author paints a reality that, at times, is almost painful to read. Then, moments later, a flash of beauty reminds you of how easily we could all succumb to the same dream of moving our lives to an isolated rock of our own.


Kate lived on Highborne Cay, Exuma, in the Bahamas for five years. Most people think it would be a vacation paradise to live and work on a small island, away from the stress and confusion of everyday life. This book will tell otherwise.

It is the true story of a woman who learned about courage, fortitude and patience as she continually faced extraordinary and often dangerous situations in a place that had no doctor, no police nor other emergency personnel. Her everyday experiences in an isolated surrounding provide excitement and give a fresh and thought-provoking view of unusual events that were part of her life on this tiny, unprotected island in the Caribbean.

From an armed robbery, drug traders and illegal immigrants, to medical mishaps and disasters at sea, Kate learned in those short five years that she and her husband, Peter, would be forced to step forward to protect the island and its people. In their jobs, they would need to cope–or quit. – via Amazon


Reading this book almost feels like peeking into the pages of the author’s personal journal. Its chapters are organized by the years they spend on the island, highlighting the notable events and the author’s range of emotions as they adjust to their new lifestyle.


Readers who will love this book:


Readers who appreciate uncomfortable truths. This book does not glaze over the challenges and crushing lows of remote island living. You’ll read about the ramifications of being so detached from society in all its horrifying glory – from being held up at gunpoint by robbers, to urgent medical emergencies, boating accidents, and more. While this book was published over a decade ago and hopefully some of the issues have been improved with time (for example, those related to the frequent drug trafficking passing through the area), many are still applicable and experienced by islanders today. #IslandTruthBomb

Couples who have considered working in private island management. This book offers an incredibly realistic picture of the hard work and lifestyle required in this career path. From the daily schedules, to access to necessary supplies, to communicating with stateside owners – it’s all in here.

Islanders wondering if their current rock is secluded enough for them. Kate and her husband Peter were originally based in bustling Nassau before seeking out this job opportunity in the outlying Exumas. They found themselves wistfully thinking about a more peaceful version of island life that wasn’t as busy and workaday as their current situation. Do you live on a large, populated island and wonder if “downsizing” might be right for you? You can test the waters in this book through their experiences.


out islands exumas Bahamas Life on a Rock island book islanders


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What’s on your To-Be-Read list for 2019, islanders?

If you’ve read the featured book too, be sure to leave a comment below or on our Facebook page – we can chat about it and it’ll be like our own island-style book club!


Looking for more Island Reads? Here are a couple of others I’ve covered for you to check out:

An Embarrassment of Mangoes

Don’t Stop the Carnival

Here Comes the Sun



If you’re a fellow island reader and would like to connect on all things books, you can find me on Goodreads. I even have a shelf of island related books, which I plan to cover in future posts like this one.

Written By:

Current Rock of Residence:

Virgin Gorda, BVI

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:


Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the tropics, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps but these days, any activities that require a bra and shoes go under careful, is-this-even-worth-it consideration. If island life has taught her anything at all, it’s that few things are more rewarding than time spent in the pool with a cocktail in hand.

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends her days working from home with her blue-eyed sidekick, Island Dog Diego, writing, editing, and cultivating content in the hopes of bringing some laughter and lightness to her fellow island souls. She recently published her first children’s book, When You’re a Baby Who Lives on a Rock, and is pretty pumped to share it with all of the island mamas out there. Her days off are typically spent boating, hiking, and meeting up with the neighborhood’s imperious roadside goats, who she shamelessly bribes into friendship. While normalcy was never listed as one of her special skills, Caribbean life may indeed be responsible for new levels of madness. She attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people.

If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous website or follow her daily escapades on Instagram @womanonarock.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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