The Woods


The Woods

A Year on Protection Island

By Amber McMillan

Nightwood Editions
5.5 x 8.5 - 224 pages
Paperback - $19.95
October 2016

"Amber McMillan's writing balances an eye for the unusual and resiliently beautiful with a sympathy for the frailties common to all her islanders."
-Kevin Chong, author of Baroque-a-Nova, Neil Young Nation and Beauty Plus Pity


The Woods: A Year on Protection Island is a personal memoir that probes the unique and sometimes unsettling tenor of life on one of BC’s smallest gulf islands. The measure of one’s success here, the author discovers, doesn’t rely on status or income, but on the ability to adapt both the rigorous outdoors of the Pacific Northwest and equally challenging human community of need, trade, and negotiated civility.

These are stories of the people and families who sought refuge here, for different reasons and with different outcomes: a city contractor whose idea of relaxing in the country is to spend his time running noisy power tools; a septuagenarian library curator who has happily re-discovered men and Scotch; but mostly the book is about the author and her family.