The book is an account of an earnest but amateurish effort to perform plumbing, carpentry, well digging, and boat navigation, which produced nearly fatal results, and financial ruin. The story is told with a good humor, sensitivity, and insightful philosophy.
Mrs Conover earned money to help the family income by drawing pictures of the animals and birds she saw all over their island and selling them to the greeting card companies. Also, they were able to build a few small cabins to rent out and that too helped them financially. They declared the island a santuary in that no bird or animal would have to fear for their lives. All wildlife was allowed to roam free from all human interference and because of that the island was soon a haven and breeding place for all the wildlife who eventually grew to be unafraid of humans.
I must say that this is one of the best books i ever read. The Readers Digest condensed version is very good but to get the complete picture of the life that the Conovers lived on their island you must read the unedited edition.