Join us for afternoon tea with Mary Considine as she talks about her unforgettable new memoir The Island House, transporting readers to the wilds of Cornwall and remote island life.

‘In the January dark, a young man walks slowly into the sea. He can’t see where he is going, but he knows the island is calling…’

Mary and Patrick’s dream was to live in London, have 2.4 children, the nice house, the successful jobs. But life had other plans, and in one traumatic year that all came crashing down.

Bruised and battered, Mary finds herself pulled towards Cornwall and dreams of St George’s Island, where she spent halcyon childhood summers. So, when an opportunity arises to become tenants if they renovate the old Island House, they grab it with both hands.

Life on the island is hard, especially in winter, the sea and weather, unforgiving. But the rugged natural beauty, the friendly ghosts of previous inhabitants, and the beautiful isolation of island life bring hope and purpose, as they discover a resilience they never knew they had.

It has been empty now for six years, and it is full of ghosts. Every wall is patterned with black mould, in lacy fronds or lumpy stripes; every window in the house is broken. We pile bedding, blankets, coats on to the bed and the cats climb in with us, mourning their lost comforts. We listen to the wails of wind and the menace of waves through the broken glass and breathe in the spores and the damp, clinging together, our family, in the faint warmth of the bed.

We are entirely happy.

We look forward to welcoming Mary Considine to Booka to talk to us about her journey to a remote island life over afternoon tea!

Tickets: £10 Includes afternoon tea & £5 redeemable against a signed copy of The Island House. Tickets available from the bookshop or purchase online (with booking fee).