The most beautiful novel for you to get lost in, you need to read The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford.
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 in that beautiful, isolated island. Only three years later, St Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near dead from starvation. But for Fred, memories of that summer – and the island woman, Chrissie, with whom he falls in love – will never leave him.
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.
An easy 5/5 star
I absolutely loved this novel and everything about it. From the cover artwork and maps inside, to the descriptions of birds and the weather, places and people and the story itself – it’s an absolute treat to read.
I was delighted to hear that this is based on the island’s history (although a fictional piece of work, search for St Kilda for more information on the island, and possibly plan a trip whilst you’re there, like me!), which just made this all the more realistic.
Big big well done to Gifford for her writing here. It is breathtaking – the descriptions and the way she writes makes you fall in love with the place and the story so easily. For me, it felt like a pop-up book with images because the author just brought places alive so, so well. I loved how much the author clearly loves writing and these Scottish islands, as it really comes through.
Chapters are split between different times and two different people and although I don’t usually favour this, I really enjoyed it in The Lost Lights of St Kilda. It made me want/need more consistently, making it a very difficult book to put down.
I found every single page interesting, and I could’ve had hundreds more, but then I also really wanted to know what happens, so I’d be happy with another book please and thank you.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda is more than just a romantic novel; it delves into the war and those loved and lost, people’s kindness in the face of evil, and the contrary, poverty, isolation, the media and how people were reconnected during troubling times.
An exceptional, first-class read which will remain in my heart.
An easy 5/5 star. You’ll love this book.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda, Elisabeth Gifford, RRP £14.99 (hardback); Book Depository