This book is a beautiful depiction of a lost way of life, tied in with a love story.
The Lost Lights of St Kilda follows the story of Chrissie, a young woman from St Kilda and Fred, a soldier who is captured in enemy territory in World War Two. I had never heard of the island of St Kilda but after reading Elisabeth Gifford's novel, I'm sure the now abandoned habitation will stay in my memory forever.
Gifford paints pictures with words as she depicts the hardships and trials of the islanders as they cling to their traditional way of life, each year becoming harder as the population diminishes. Their struggles to avoid starvation as they climb down the cliffs catching birds whilst the outer world modernises and leaves the villagers behind is unforgettable. It is a heart-breaking story of loss of home and shared history.
The people in this book were relatable and I wished them well, but it is the island of St Kilda that really shines through.