Pabay: An Island Odyssey
Hardback | Sep 2019 | Birlinn | 9781780275796 | 320pp | 216x138mm | RFB | AUD$39.99, NZD$47.99
Pabay lies in Skye’s Inner Sound, off the crofting village of Breakish and the small adjoining town of Broadford. One of five Hebridean islands of that name, it derives from the Norwegian papa-ey signifying ‘island of priests’. Many visitors since the first holy men built their chapel there have felt that Pabay was a spiritual place, including the great 19th century geologists Hugh Miller and Archibald Geikie, for whom the island’s rocks and fossil-laden shales revealed much about the nature of creation itself.
The Whatley family moved to Pabay from the Midlands and lived and worked there from 1950 until the 1970s. The author, the nephew of Len and Margaret Whatley, spent long periods on the island, experiencing the trials, tribulations and joys of island life. In this book he uses his own and his family’s experiences as conduits into the island’s deeper history, which has never been told.