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David W. Berner

The Islander

An ageing writer develops an unlikely friendship with a young hiker.

Eighty-year-old writer, Seamus Damp, lives alone with his dog in a small house, on a remote island, ‘The Rock in the sea,’ off the coast of Dingle in Ireland. Following his divorce, Seamus sunk into a deep depression, and moved to the island seeking solitude, leaving behind his only son, Aiden, on the mainland. Berner writes, Seamus had fallen into his own silence, a retreat of spirit, increasingly in need of solitude. He had become an intensely quiet man. No longer present. No longer capable of giving enough to someone else. After several medical emergencies, Aiden, and Seamus’s doctor, encourage him to return to the mainland, but Seamus refuses to leave.

Early one morning, Seamus is disturbed by a tap it his door. He meets a young American named Maddie, who asks to shelter in his home during a turbulent storm. Maddie is hiking in Europe to find solace and to escape her own troubles. They share an evening of conversation, and they develop a deep connection through their personal stories of betrayal, death, despair, and hopelessness. Maddie and Seamus become friends and find comfort in each other’s company. As Maddie helps Seamus with a number of medical emergencies, Seamus helps Maddie heal from her past trauma.

The Islander is a short novel by author David W. Berner about a man in his later years who finds friendship with a younger woman. This is a poignant and heartfelt novel, beautifully written by Berner with great sensitivity and compassion. The book deals with themes of friendship, love, loss, and the indomitable strength of the human spirit.

With well drawn, complex and relatable characters, stunning imagery of the wind-swept Irish island, and a beautiful story of two strangers who develop an unlikely bond, this is a compelling read. Highly recommended.


Star rating: 5 Stars

Summary: A poignant and heartfelt story of friendship, love, loss, and the indomitable strength of the human spirit.

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