From “Runaway” To “Castaway”! The “Faraway” Dramatic Life of Writer Lucy Irvine!

Lucy Irvine Castaway adventure

Looking For The Ultimate Escape?

For one determined young woman, that escape involved a year on a deserted island! I have written about Author Lucy Irvine’s amazing books, and her incredible life.

That life is dramatic, sad, and ultimately inspiring!

Runaway memoir


I will share her story of living on a tropical island for a year in a moment, but first, following the success of her first book “Castaway”, she published “Runaway” – the very intense story of her upbringing in England, where she frequently ran away from home. The book describes how, while hitchiking in Greece, she was raped at knife-point and subsequently suffered a mental breakdown.

Lucy Irvine Runaway

As this cover says, “Runaway” is the story of Irvine’s life that lead her to become a “Castaway.”

She writes honestly about her life, including the traumatic moments that led her to breakdown completely. But her candor, as well as her indefatigable spirit, make the book an inspiration, and these life events led the young woman to answer this ad:

Castaway newspaper ad

“WRITER seeks ‘wife’ for year on tropical island.”

This ad resulted in one of the best travel memoirs ever written…


In 1980, Irvine responded to the ad, placed by writer Gerald Kingsland – and they became self-imposed “castaways” for a year on the isolated and uninhabited island of Tuin, located in the Torres Strait between New Guinea and Australia.

castaway memoir

In 1983, Irvine published her account of the experience. The book was a huge hit, and later was the basis for the 1986 film.


The movie starred Oliver Reed and Amanda Donohoe. According to Irvine, the film, directed by Nicolas Roeg, is more about the relationship between an older man and a young woman than it is about her experiences on the island.

Castaway on a deserted island

The book is a fascinating, candid memoir – to read more about it, here is my story on Irvine’s experience on the island:

The success of “Castaway” led Irvine to write her memoir of growing up, “Runaway.” After several years, events led her to write another book as well…

lucy irvine faraway

Based on reading her work, Irvine was approached by Diana and Tom Hepworth to write their biography. In 1947, the two British expatriates had set sail from England in search of a faraway paradise where they could raise a family.

lucy irvine faraway bookk

They settled on Pigeon Island in the Solomons, running a trading business. Irvine accepted their invitation and in 1998 she travelled to the Solomon Islands and began the process of writing the Hepworth’s story. She took her two young children with her, and the story she wrote about the experience is fascinating.

You can read about it here:

Since then, Irvine has lived in Bulgaria, taking on the goal of helping feral animals in that rural country…and writes about her efforts on her Facebook page…

lucy irvine faraway book

Along with those posts, Irvine also recently published her first collection of short fiction:

Lucy Irvine Cherries book

Irvine has lived a fascinating life, and deserves all of the accolades she has received. You can read more about her new book by clicking here:

Check out this talented Writer’s work and life!

Runaway memoir

Categories: Art, Australia, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Exotic Travel, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, London, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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3 replies


  1. Lucy Irvine’s New Book “Cherries”! “Castaway” Author’s New Work! Real-Life Catastrophe! | johnrieber
  2. Best 2015 Holiday Gift Ideas! Food! Family! Travel! “IT” Girls! Runaways! Five Great Memoirs As Holiday Gifts! | johnrieber
  3. Living In Paradise – With Cannibals! Incredible “Faraway” South Seas Adventures! – johnrieber

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