The Land of Maybe

A Faroe Islands Year

by Tim Ecott

  • Published: 09 Sep 2021
  • Price: 9.99
  • Format: B Format Paperback
  • Extent: 288p
  • ISBN: 9781780725185
  • Short Books territories:
    UK & C/Wealth
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‘In this excellent book, Ecott’s evocative telling makes me want to go to this weird and wonderful place.’

Following the natural cycle of the year, The Land of Maybe captures the essence of ‘slow life’ on the 18 remote, mysterious islands which make up the Faroes in the North Atlantic. Closer to the UK than Denmark, this fast disappearing world is home to a close-knit society where just 50,000 people share Viking roots and a language that is unlike any other in Scandinavia.

We follow the arrival of the migratory birds, the over-wintering of the sheep and the way food is gathered and eaten in tune with the seasons. Buffeted by the weather and the demands of a volatile natural environment, people still hunt seabirds and herd pilot whales for a significant portion of their basic food needs.

This is not a travelogue, but a deeper exploration of how ‘to be’ in a tough landscape; a study of a people and a way of life that represents continuity and a deep connection to the past. The Land of Maybe offers not just a refuge from the freneticism of modern life, but lessons about where we come from and how we may find a balance in our lives.


‘From the book’s opening line we are there among the gannets, the pilot whales and sea-butted cliffs, wrestling with the winds and the enigma that is this Land of Maybe. This is Ecott at his best.’
– B E N E D I C T  A L L E N

‘Tim Ecott has created a raven-haunted love song to the intimate insecurity of island living and the salt-caked, tightly-braided culture of the Faroes.’
– A . L .  K E N N E D Y

‘The tough, mystical, intangible character of the Faroes is captured by Ecott’s gorgeously descriptive writing that makes you believe you can smell the sea, hear the birds and feel the wind.’
– K A T E  H U M B L E

‘Ecott’s prose has the power of tides, his perception is as searching as the Atlantic wind, and he has the soul of a natural-born naturalist. A masterpiece.’
– J O H N  L E W I S – S T E M P E L

About Tim Ecott

Tim Ecott is a former BBC World Service staff correspondent. He has worked widely in Africa and the Indian Ocean. He writes documentaries for radio and screen and nonfiction, drawing heavily on his fondness for the natural world. His books include 'Neutral Buoyanc' (Penguin) and 'Vanilla: travels in search of the luscious substance'.

Other books by this author