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 the 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 her.
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 home in the face of darkness.
Published by Corvus on 5th March 2020, 278 pages
This is a the story of Chrissie, Fred and Archie. The story spans decades, a war and a lost way of life.
It follows Chrissie from her childhood on the island where life was still lived as it had been for hundreds of years until the end of the second world war. It is a story of love, betrayal and loyalties.
Although there is no suspense or twists in this story I found I couldnt put it down and I got completely lost in it. It is beautifully written and brings the Island of St Kilda alive, I could picture the landscapes and the wildlife exactly as it was written and felt emotionally involved in Chrissie’s life. The difference between modern life and life on the island was fascinating especially as it wasn’t that long ago.
The author created characters that seemed very real but also used actual people that played vital roles in the second world war that had me reading up about them as soon as I had finished the book.
I would definitely recommend this to historical fiction fans.
Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. Her bestselling novel, Secrets of the Sea House, was shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association’s Debut Crown for Best First Historical Novel in 2014. She is married with three children, and lives in Kingston upon Thames.