Seamus Damp is an aging American-born writer who retreats to a remote island off the coast of Ireland to escape to a monastic life. But his troubled past is always near, and his estranged relationship with his son is fraught with heartbreak. When a young woman who carries her own heartache-filled past comes to the island on a solitary spiritual and hiking adventure, she and Seamus discover an unusual bond and together attempt to find a way to heal their hearts and erase their collective sorrows.
During a harrowing coastal storm, the young woman seeks refuge at Seamus’ door. A night of conversation while the wild weather rages begins their journey toward a mutual understanding of their personal stories of betrayal, death, and emotional hopelessness. Eventually, the young woman helps Seamus through health emergencies, and emergencies of the heart — old and new — as she, too, attempts to discover her own way toward an emotional breakthrough on a beautiful yet rugged, wind-swept island where solitude is its greatest gift.
The Islander is part of The Shortish Project, celebrating short novels at theshortishproject.com.
Reviews for the Book
"Unputdownable...a melancholic, solemn, and remarkable short novel that captures in beautiful lexical style the interaction between two people. The writing style is impeccable." —International Review of Books "The Islander excels in a simple, rugged perspective of life and self that contrasts the experiences and perspectives of father and son and the lives each touches. (The novel's) reflection of psychological depth and literary strength will attract a wide audience." —Midwest Book Review "The Islander is a poignant and thought-provoking work of fiction that delves into themes of grief, healing, and companionship...impactful...compelling." —Literary Titan Review Page Turner Awards Finalist, 2022
About the Author: David W. Berner
David W. Berner is the best-selling author of WALKS WITH SAM and the award-winning author of A WELL-RESPECTED MAN, OCTOBER SONG, ACCIDENTAL LESSONS, ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE, THERE’S A HAMSTER IN THE DASHBOARD, NIGHT RADIO, and the memoir THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS. He has been honored and won awards from the prestigious Society of Midland Authors and the Chicago Writers Association. David has also been the Writer-in-Residence at both the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, FL and at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, IL.
David moved from Pittsburgh to Chicago to work as a radio reporter and news anchor for CBS Radio and later pursued a career as a writer and educator. His first book ACCIDENTAL LESSONS is about his year teaching in one of the Chicago area’s most troubled school districts. The book won the Golden Dragonfly Grand Prize for Literature and has been called a “beautiful, elegantly written book” by award-winning author Thomas E. Kennedy, and “a terrific memoir” by Rick Kogan (Chicago Tribune and WGN Radio). ANY ROAD WILL TAKE YOU THERE—a 2013 Book of the Year from the Chicago Writers Association—is the author’s story of a cross-country road trip with his sons and the revelations of fatherhood. The memoir has been called “heartwarming and heartbreaking” and “a five-star wonderful read.” His novel, A WELL-RESPECTED MAN was a 2019 honoree in the fiction category of The Society of Midland Authors Awards.
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