30 December 2011


I have been a history buff since the dawn of time, or at least since I first read the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I fell in love with being able to live life as others did, even if it was vicariously.  I picked this book because the New Hebrides Islands were an area that I had never explored before, which intrigued me.  I had read many books about and taking place in Scotland, but never anything in this particular area.   The first thing that amazed me about this book was the author's portarayal of the lives of the Islanders and how bleak it was.  The next amazing thing was that the Reverend McNeil and his wife were actaul historical characters, and not just fictional characters that the author used to describe the story.  The story of the lives of the Reverend and his wife was fascinating, as was the underlying history.  There were many characters that engendered both interest and sympathy.  In short, I was not disappointed in Karin Altenbergs portrayal of the lives of The Reverend McNeil and his wife, their time on the Island of St. Kilda, and the lives of the Islanders. As with a lot of the good historical fiction that I have read, this book has enticed me to read and learn more about the Reverend McNeil, the Island of St. Kilda, and the changes in the Church of Scotland that were occurring at this time.  In my mind there is no higher praise than that.