Island of Wings

Front Cover
House of Anansi, Sep 8, 2011 - Fiction - 320 pages
23 Reviews

Longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction

July, 1830. On the ten-hour sail west from the Hebrides to the islands of St. Kilda, everything lies ahead for Lizzie and Neil McKenzie. Neil is to become the minister to the small community of islanders, and Lizzie, his new wife, is pregnant with their first child. 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 wilful 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 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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Review: Island of Wings

User Review  - Kate North - Goodreads

Historical fiction, set on St Kilda (an island in the Outer Hebrides) in the 19th century. Lizzie is a preacher's wife and goes to remote St Kilda with her husband, who feels a mission to minister to ... Read full review

Review: Island of Wings

User Review  - Crystal - Goodreads

This is a sorry case of someone trying to get some extra mileage out of their dissertation. It may be that St. Kilda is archeologically interesting; however, Altenberg doesn't have enough ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Born and brought up in southern Sweden, Karin Altenberg moved to Britain in 1996. She is currently senior advisor to the Swedish National Heritage Board and is a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Island of Wings is her first novel, and she is currently working on her second.

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