Hatteras Island is a barrier island, part of the famed Outer Banks that runs parallel to the North Carolina coast. But any map, let alone a satellite view from space, will show the island is not a part of North Carolina at all. Hatteras belongs to the Atlantic Ocean, as much a part of the sea as fish and waves, and as much at the sea's mercy as sandcastles on the beach. And it belongs to the heart. In Hatteras Island: Keeper of the Outer Banks, award-winning coastal writer Ray McAllister returns to the site of his family's annual vacations a quarter-century ago. Much has changed on Hatteras. But even more has not. Elsewhere, fast-food restaurants, strip malls, and beach-dominating duplexes have overcome resort islands. But the storm-buffeted Hatteras-as much as 30 miles from the mainland and largely protected against intruders by national seashore status-has kept its soul.