Monday, 21 January 2013

Review of Island of Wings by Karin Alternberg

I have to admit that I have a wide range of readings tastes and I am quite partial to a historical novel.  This one is set on the isle of St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides and is based on the real diaries and information based on the years that Neil Mackenzie and his wife travelled to Hirta (St Kilda) as a married couple and follows the years where he is the minister for the isle before his departure some years later.

The description in this novel was excellent and you could really sense the remoteness of the isle and envision the natives in the little huts, almost like wild savages living in filth and squalor.  The magnificence of the birds and the bareness of this uninhabitable landscape is portrayed very vividly.

Unfortunately for the me the characters did not come to life.  The minister, who was most defiantly, an unlikeable character was far to wooden and although you were told he did, this, that and the other you weren't shown this through the writing.  His wife with her own struggles and isolation again I felt this could have been shown in a more remarkable way.

All in all this was a nice book with very good descriptions but very slow in parts and the ending was disappointing,  They left the island as expected and that was that.

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