The subtitle of Kate Webber’s recently published book, Swan’s Island Chronicles, hints at its flavor: “Borrowed, Exaggerated and Half-Forgotten Tales of Island Life.”

It’s a collection of vignettes that each feature the essential elements of a good yarn—colorful characters, often doing something unusual, with the added spice of being in an island setting.

The stories sprang from Webber’s work as one of the Island Institute’s Island Fellows (funded jointly by AmeriCorps and the Island Institute), working with the Swan’s Island Historical Society in gathering oral histories from older residents (and some not-so-old), recording them for future generations.

Most of the stories were featured on The Working Waterfront’s website and in the newspaper (published by the Island Institute), though many have been expanded and more photos have been added.

But to be clear, these are not transcriptions. Webber has a fine way of matching prose to the subject. Her tone varies from bemused to respectful, from self-deprecating about her own stumbles adjusting to island life to feeling the pride in place that natives embrace and celebrate.

It’s a light and fun read, offering insight into island life and into human nature.

Webber will read and sign books at: