At twenty-three, Alison Watt left the comfort of a relationship and urban life to spend four months studying tufted puffins on Triangle Island, a remote bird sanctuary far off the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
She spent her summer in the company of Anne Vallée, a serious young biologist whose dedication to her field made her a formidable and inspiring mentor. Now, in the sixteen years since Watt last visited the island, Anne has died, and from the moment Watt arrives to do more research, she is flooded with memories of the summer they spent together.
Told in a gripping diary form, The Last Island blends native legends, evolutionary theory, scientific knowledge and an appreciation for the delicate balance required for creatures as small as krill and as large as fin whales to survive. Watt brings the island to life, recreating through sensual detail the sounds, smells, sights, tastes and textures of this desolate bird haven. Perhaps even more importantly, she recreates the jagged inner landscape of a young woman worn and warmed by months of seclusion.