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The Lost Lights of St Kilda cover art

The Lost Lights of St Kilda

By: Elisabeth Gifford
Narrated by: Fiona McNeill,Geoffrey Newland,Diane Brooks
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Summary

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 her. 

The Lost Lights of St Kilda is a sweeping love story that crosses 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.

©2020 Elisabeth Gifford (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

"Desperately romantic, lyrically written and with a fascinating plot.” (Katie Fforde)

What listeners say about The Lost Lights of St Kilda

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An enjoyable read

I bought the book because of the St Kilda connection and then found the war story centred around St Valery, very personal to me as my father was a Seaforth Highlander in the 51st Highland Division taken prisoner at St Valery.
I enjoyed the story, and the narration. The only slight criticism would be the continual reference to Gaelic, being pronounced Gay-lic (which is Irish) rather than Gah-lic, which is Scottish. A small detail but correct pronunciation of words and place names is important and gives authenticity.
I would certainly read others by this author on the strength of this one.

3 people found this helpful

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Nurse Williamina Barclay

This book was full of every kind of emotion. I have read many books about St kilda but this is the only one that gives an understanding of the life of the St Kilda people through Chrisies eyes.
My great Aunt was Nurse Barclay and it was very moving to understand what hardship she put herself through to help the island people. I met Aunt Williamina many times and saw the toughness in her eyes despite having a privileged up bringing in Denniston, Glasgow. This story is such a good read , the contrast between St Kilda and the ravages of war couldn’t be more stark. Lies , betrayal and love. But in the end love is stronger than anything . Wonderful read.

2 people found this helpful

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Historical Fiction at its best!

As a Scot, it can be difficult to read books where you know the history and the author does not follow. Elisabeth Gifford does not do this, she has woven her story beautifully around history and kept the facts. I adored this book. The audiobook was made more special because the narrators were Scots so there were no pretend accents, which always sound mocking. Having read and enjoyed Secrets of the Sea House, I chose this book. More please!

2 people found this helpful

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Fiona McNeill is an appalling narrator

I could barely stomach listening to this, almost solely down to the stilted narration of Fiona McNeill. Every. Word. Was. A. Sentence. Of. Its. Own.
Beyond dire.

1 person found this helpful

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A lost community brought to life

Loved this his-story. Imaginatively bringing together people, memories and a place loved, and left to nature.

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very good

Loved it - kept forgetting to do my work I got so engrossed in the story. Simple though it is, it's well told, and well researched.

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I didn’t expect to cry

The story is beautifully told, so descriptive you could be there on St Kilda, history woven in.

1 person found this helpful

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tale as old as time

The main storyline was predicable and been told a 1000 times before, really felt the author could have done more. However the story of St Kiln was captivating and made me want to research more about this lost island.

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Tragic, beautiful & hopeful.

Beautiful evocation of a lost civilisation & a lost love . Then the back story of WW2 and escape from France.

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Stunning descriptions and tight story

This book held my attention to the last second. The descriptions of the island were incredible, I felt I was there. A clever and beautiful story of love and forgiveness.