Island of Wings

Island of Wings

3.45 (981 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Longlisted for the Orange Prize 2012. On the ten-hour sailing west from the Hebrides to the islands of St Kilda, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil MacKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child. Neil's journey is evangelical: a testing and strengthening of his own faith against the old pagan ways of the St Kildans, but it is also a passage to atonement. For Lizzie - bright, beautiful and devoted - this is an adventure, a voyage into the unknown. She is sure only of her loyalty and love for her husband, but everything that happens from now on will challenge all her certainties. As the two adjust to life on an exposed archipelago on the edge of civilization, where the natives live in squalor and subsist on a diet of seabirds, and babies perish mysteriously in their first week, their marriage - and their sanity - is threatened. Is Lizzie a willful temptress drawing him away from his faith? Is Neil's zealous Christianity unhinging into madness? And who, or what, is haunting the moors and cliff-tops?
Exquisitely written and profoundly moving, Island of Wings is more than just an account of a marriage in peril - it is also a richly imagined novel about two people struggling to keep their love, and their family, alive in a place of terrible hardship and tumultuous beauty.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 27mm | 429g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0857382322
  • 9780857382320
  • 796,857

Review quote

'Island of Wings captures a world that disappears in the act of description, and the love, so inescapable and elusive, of the outsiders who try to tame it. With scrupulous attention to place, history and the natural world, it tells a story washed by a clean and lovely kind of sorrow' Anne Enright. 'A beautiful story of love and loss, precise, subtle, spiritually alive' Andrew O'Hagan. 'This lovely, haunting novel evokes the rough beauty of St Kilda ... A story of faith and love' The Times. 'Stunning' Guardian. 'Her literary achievement is astonishing ... A superb book' Scotsman.
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About Karin Altenberg

Karin Altenberg was born in Sweden and moved to Britain to study in 1996. She holds a PhD in Archaeology. Her first, bestselling novel, Island of Wings, was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award and the Scottish Book of the Year Award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction.
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Rating details

981 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 15% (152)
4 34% (333)
3 35% (346)
2 10% (102)
1 5% (48)
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