About The Book
1927: When Fred Lawson takes a summer job on St Kilda, little does he realise that he has joined the last community to ever live on that beautiful, isolated island. Only three years later, St Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near-dead from starvation. But for Fred, that summer – and the island woman, Chrissie, whom he falls in love with – becomes the very thing that sustains him in the years ahead.
1940: Fred has been captured behind enemy lines in France and finds himself in a prisoner-of-war camp. Beaten and exhausted, his thoughts return to the island of his youth and the woman he loved and lost. When Fred makes his daring escape, prompting a desperate journey across occupied territory, he is sustained by one thought only: finding his way back to Chrissie.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a sweeping love story that will cross oceans and decades. It is a moving and deeply vivid portrait of two lovers, a desolate island, and the extraordinary power of hope in the face of darkness.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I am going to struggle to find the words to review this wonderful book but I will try. I hadn’t really known what to expect, I wasn’t familiar with the author and I never knew anything about St Kilda. Almost immediately after starting to read it I realised that the novel was based on actual events with regards to the island and I was reading about them on the internet at the same time as reading this novel. The very realistic account of what life must have been like on St Kilda was fascinating. And even though I loved the story of Fred and Chrissie it was the story around the island that will be on mind for some time.
I can’t even imagine a world where you have to scale a cliff to get food to survive. A world where for months every year you have no contact at all with the mainland, no news, no letters, no provisions. The characters were fascinating, brave, independent and proud. They didn’t let anybody portray them as someone to be ridiculed. I enjoyed reading about the ceilidh, the folk stories and the Gaelic traditions. All that was missing was a soundtrack. It’s hard to think that the events that concerned this island happened less than 100 years ago.
I adored Chrissie, her blossoming friendship with Fred who had visited from the mainland along with Archie, her strength, loyalty, humour and devotion to St Kilda was astonishing. She had great spirit and had a determination to do the best for her daughter despite everything. Even though I liked both, I enjoyed reading her account more than Fred’s, it was from her that you learned more about their relationship and island life. Even though Fred’s experience in the war isn’t mentioned much there was enough for me to experience the danger that he was in. And like St Kilda, his war was something I knew nothing about.
A wonderful read that had me gazing into the distance on finishing.