When author Amy M. McMullen was young, she wasn’t preoccupied with dolls, dresses, or boys like other little girls; instead she was fixated on a Maine island called Monhegan.
In this memoir, illustrated with color photographs and art, Amy covers a segment of her life, beginning as a very small child and ending in her early twenties. She describes growing up in an unusual family on Cape Cod during the 1960s, her early teenage years in California, and finally her life as a homesteader on a small island off the Maine coast. She delves deeply into the psyche of a child who became unwittingly caught up in the destructive upheavals caused by her parent’s divorce and her mother’s spiral down into alcoholism, and how this scripted her life choices later.
Her family’s connection to the idyllic island of Monhegan, where she often summered as a child, planted a seed of longing in a little girl whose family life was out of control. This soon developed into recurring dreams that couldn’t be shaken until she ran away from home at the age of sixteen to live on Monhegan with an older man.
During their six year relationship, Amy and her husband homesteaded on the nearby tiny uninhabited island of Manana, raising goats for a cheesemaking business and having two children. But what had been a dream of safety and stability quickly became a nightmare, fraught with danger, alcohol, drugs, and domestic abuse.
Amy’s lyrically-written observations throughout this account are wry, funny, and often horrifying, but they deftly capture the essence of life on an isolated Maine island during the seventies. This is a true story of a small fishing community that had become infiltrated by hippies, and a young woman who had to battle overwhelming odds and learn the hard way how to grow up and create her own future.