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.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Firstly I have to say how much I love this cover especially after reading the book as it captures the story so perfectly.
The story unfolds in two very different locations. One in Europe through the second world war in 1940, as Fred Lawson has made a daring escape from his captors, as he focuses on the time that he met a young Chrissie, who lived on St. Kilda. His goal is to finally get back to her. The other location is that of St. Kilda which was the furthermost of the Hebridean Islands, being 100 miles off the Scottish coast.
Fred Lawson had gone to the Island in 1927 with the Laird’s son Archie MacLeod where he has a summer job and meets Chrissie a young Islander, where friendship soon turns to a much deeper relationship. The story is told through Fred while he is making his way through dangerous territory, while Chrissie is telling her story to her daughter.
The vivid descriptions of St. Kilda and its inhabitants tell of harsh life on an unforgiving land where tragedy struck so many families but also of a community that looked after their own. There wasn’t any discrimination of age where the steep slopes lead to the cliff face and claimed regular lives. The bitterly cold winds and harsh winters that made the residents reliant on the ships that called on them in winter, when they could get through. In 1930 the residents had to be evacuated as life there become unsustainable and an era ended.
A truly captivating story of love set in an unforgettable location beautifully brought back to life by this outstanding author. Thoroughly enjoyable.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elisabeth Gifford studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three adult children and lives in Kingston upon Thames.