Thursday 12 March 2020

The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford @elisabeth04liz BLOG TOUR @CorvusBooks #RandomThingsTours #TheLostLightsOfStKilda #Win #Giveaway

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, memories of that summer - and the island woman, Chrissie, with whom he falls in love - will never leave him.

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 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.

The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford was published in hardback by Corvus Books on 5 March 2020. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour

I have one hardback copy to GIVE AWAY to one reader too. Entry is simple, just fill out the competition widget at the end of this blog post.
UK Entries only


I have been a fan of Elisabeth Gifford's writing for many years and have reviewed all three of her previous novels here on Random Things. I had very high expectations for The Lost Lights of St Kilda, based on her previous work, and I have not been disappointed.

Once again, this wonderfully talented author has transported me to places that I'd never imagined before. I had no idea about St Kilda; a remote group of islands off the Scottish coastline, but I now feel as though I've visited, and have met the inhabitants, and felt their sorrow and loss, and been part of their lives.

Told over two main time scales, this is the story  of Fred, a university student who went to St Kildas to work, and study rock formations during the summer of 1927. He was accompanied by fellow student, and friend Archie.
The story is also told during 1940 when Fred is in a prisoner-of-war camp, captured behind the lines in France, and planning his escape.

As Fred contemplates his future, his thoughts drift to the past, and to that summer on St Kildas. It was there that he fell in love with local girl Chrissie, that that relationship has left a very deep impact on Fred, and also on Archie.

St Kilda is no longer inhabited, and the author relates the story of how the islanders had to move away, for fear that they would starve, quite beautifully. The emotion evoked when reading of people who have to leave the only home they knew is heart felt. Chrissie now lives on the mainland, and whilst she and Fred have not been in touch for many years, she too is reflecting back to that summer relationship. Her young daughter Rachel Anne has many questions about the father she has never known and Chrissie has no choice but to look back on her memories.

This is a rich and evocative story, written with such skill and compassion. The author's research shines through on each page and her characters are beautifully imagined. 

St Kilda itself becomes a vivid and central character in its own right, and the sense of place is magnificently created. This is story telling at the highest level; gripping and completely and utterly immersive.

Absolutely compelling and a privilege to read. Recommended highly by me.

One Hardback Copy of The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford br />

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.

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