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Well out to sea

Life on a remote island

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What is it like to live on an island 22 miles offshore with only three dozen winter residents and where the local economy is lobstering?

Eva Murray moved to Maine’s Matinicus Island in 1987 to teach in its one-room school for a year. She wound up marrying the island electrician and raising a family. Her book, “Well Out to Sea: Year-Round on Matinicus Island (2011, 320 pages, paperback $20), documents her island life.

Readers hoping for an escape-to-Maine fantasy might feel shortchanged. An outer-island sunrise is a treat, but think about enduring six months of gales or six weeks of fog. Murray’s account notes the negative and positive aspects of living on the island — searches for lost mariners, boats rescued, fires, power failures and heartfelt acts of support. Collectively they are the stories of a unique, interdependent community.

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue.