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Inspiring, gorgeous, powerful. The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a beautifully written story brimming with guts and determination. When Fred meets Chrissie in 1927 a love flickers into being, the memory of their time together remains with them through the challenging years ahead. This may be described as a love story between two people, it is also a love story about St Kilda, Scotland’s first World Heritage Site. Elisabeth Gifford has used fictional characters in a real setting, with the abandonment of St Kilda and the Second World War adding an incredibly vivid framework to the story. Taking place over forty years, the novel actually starts in 1940 with Fred as a prisoner of war, plotting escape. From here we move backwards and forwards in time, in such a way that the words continued to flow into my awareness and created an intricate patchwork of knowledge and understanding. This love feels real, there is an inner core of strength, hope, and resilience on offer that really spoke to me. I rather fell in love with The Lost Lights of St Kilda, it joins my Liz Robinson picks of the month and comes as highly recommended by me.
Chrissie Gillies comes from the last ever community to live on the beautiful, isolated Scottish island of St Kilda. Evacuated in 1930, she will never forget her life there, nor the man she loved and lost who visited one fateful summer a few years before.
Fred Lawson has been captured, beaten and imprisoned in Nazi-controlled France. Making a desperate escape across occupied territory, one thought sustains him: find Chrissie, the woman he should never have left behind on that desolate, glorious isle.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a sweeping love story that crosses oceans and decades, and a testament to the extraordinary power of hope in the darkest of times.
Closing date: 25/10/2020
A compelling love story, meticulously researched and beautifully told. The sense of place is vivid, and the descriptions are so powerful that you can almost feel the chilly whistle of the wind. A haunting novel that lingers long in the imagination. - Church Times
Days after finishing this deeply moving story, written with such a simple yet lyrical prose, I still feel haunted by it. - New Books Magazine
A moving story simply and beautifully told. - Tim Pears, author of The Redeemed
A glorious novel. You won't be able to put it down for a minute. - Suellen Dainty, author of The Housekeeper
A beautifully written and heart-rending story of love, loss and redemption. - Sophia Tobin, author of The Silversmith's Wife
A compelling love story set against the dramatic backdrops of a remote Scottish island and war-torn France. As beautiful and haunting as St Kilda itself, this is a book that will stay with me for a long time. - Gill Thompson, author of The Oceans Between Us
Such an atmospheric read and very moving. Two pieces of forgotten history woven immaculately. - Lorna Cook, author of The Forgotten Village
This is not only a love story between two people, but also between an island and its inhabitants. Richly detailed and evocative, the novel shines a light on the fascinating history of St Kilda, and the last community to call it home. - Kat Gordon, author of An Unsuitable Woman
The wild beauty and intense isolation of the Scottish island of St Kilda is vividly realised... As gorgeously written as it's quietly devastating. - Kate Riordan, author of The Girl in the Photograph
The characters are exquisitely drawn, and the slowly emerging love story rings entirely true. This is one of the best novels I've read in a long while, a real jewel. - Gill Paul, author of The Secret Wife
I loved this book. Beautifully written and descriptive... The twisted threads weave an engaging plot which takes us on a trail of human courage and measures the cost of betrayal. Set in the last poignant years of life on remote St Kilda and in war-torn Europe, it paints both worlds with a vividness that is wholly convincing. - Sarah Maine, author of The House Between Tides
Desperately romantic, lyrically written and with a fascinating plot. - Katie Fforde, author of A Rose Petal Summer
An undeniably haunting love story. - Sunday Times
A gorgeous, melancholy love story - The Times
Publication date: 01/10/2020
Publisher: Corvus an imprint of Atlantic Books
Publication date: 05/03/2020
|Publication date:||1st October 2020|
|Publisher:||Corvus an imprint of Atlantic Books|
|Genres:||Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Historical fiction, Historical romance,|
Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. She has written articles for The Times and the Independent and has a Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford OUDCE and an MA in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway College. She is married with three children. They live in Kingston on Thames but spend as much time as possible in the Hebrides.More About Elisabeth Gifford