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Island of Wings [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Karin Altenberg
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Kurzbeschreibung

31. März 2011
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.

Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 304 Seiten
  • Verlag: Quercus Publishing Childrens (31. März 2011)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0857387375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857387370
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,2 x 24,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 529.803 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

'A beautiful story of love and loss, precise, subtle, spiritually alive' Andrew O'Hagan. '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.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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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5.0 von 5 Sternen Packender Roman 8. März 2013
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Packend geschrieben,psychologisch breit und tief aufgefächert,dieCharaktäre sind vielschichtig dargestellt,feine und
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Island of Wings
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Could have been good..... 8. März 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
What could have been an immensely grpping tale was wasted due to boring, often aloof style and an - at times - pompous speech.
No closeless to the main characters was allowed, the story was told as if from a distant detached point.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen  22 Rezensionen
12 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen "I think at times that you were never really brave enough to love us." 4. Dezember 2011
Von Luan Gaines - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The islands of St. Kilda, a windswept archipelago off the coast of Scotland, are the setting for a profoundly moving novel that pits the zeal of missionary Neil MacKenzie against centuries of tradition, the minister forcing a harsh and judgmental God on natives who have known only superstition, the guidance of ancestors and the reliability of seasons, either an abundance of arriving birds they harvest for sustenance or grueling winters when Hirta, the only inhabitable island, is scoured by violent storms. Like the extremities of the weather, the missionary's worldview is equally stark, the stubborn beliefs of the St. Kildans unacceptable, MacKenzie urging acceptance of civilization and "the purifying property of the heart's sorrow", available only to repentant sinners. Brought ashore in 1830 with his pregnant young wife, MacKenzie seeks redemption for past sins, convinced God's forgiveness will be secured by reshaping the lives of primitive islanders mired in ignorance.

Altenberg's descriptions of the islands are extraordinary, a sky filled with beating wings, the joyful shouts of natives racing to gather nature's bounty, barren cliffs dotted with thick-walled dwellings built by ancestors, a democratic community untainted by ambition or greed, a remote place where a troubled man searches for affirmation of his work, the landscape of his soul barren and exposed, the progress of his subjects the proving ground for his worth. Success is measured through the community (his mission) and the state of his marriage. The unconsciously beautiful Lizzie MacKenzie bedevils her husband, a temptress who speaks to his baser instincts and diverts him from his holy goal. Their newly-begun relationship breeds hope in a lonely woman's heart, but this man of God's demons run deep, not easily expelled by affection or compassion, Lizzie's most damning observation that Neil is "the bravest of churchmen and most cowardly of men".

His hope for redemption threatened at every turn, by the native population and at home, the MacKenzie's endure hardships and brief periods of happiness, children both living and dead, as Lizzie learns to embrace this gentle community, while Neil berates his parishioners with God's wrathful judgment. Recreating a unique civilization before the assault of those who dictate religious and political governance, the old ways are rejected by the Christian message, the natives' humanity found inferior by pompous do-gooders cloaked in the same hypocrisy that insulates Rev. MacKenzie from himself. The result is hypnotic, a love affair with the St. Kildans and a lonely minister's wife, with an isolated island coexisting with nature's fury- and the tragedy of an obsessed man's futile quest, pitiful against the panorama of life on Hirta. I am bereft at the end of this tale, saddened to leave the enchantment of a world so beautifully imagined. Luan Gaines/2011.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Island of Wings Review! 28. März 2012
Von Kimberly - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I read this book for three challenges. My Around the World challenge which I can knock Scotland off my list because this book takes place on the the island of St. Kilda which is off the coast of Scotland. I also read this for my RCC Challenge, and the NetGalley 2012 Reading Challenge.

My first love is history, I had to sit through hours and hours of The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel etc. as a kid thanks to my dad so unlike a lot of other kids, I actually love history. This has translated into a great love for historical fiction and while you haven't seen me review a lot of these titles don't worry :) The reviews are coming I'm just trying to branch out an explore other genres.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I was kind of hesitant to read it because I learned that the book wasn't originally published in English and sometimes when a novel gets translated things get lost...in translation. Sorry, I had to say it. Anyways, I was a little concerned but I quickly realized my fears were misplaced.

Karin Altenberg has written a beautiful novel that is based on a real man Neil McKenzie who really was a reverend on the Island of St. Kilda. I thought that Karin did a fantastic job for getting the tone of her novel perfect. In my opinion she did an excellent job of recreating life during that time. Most of all I love how you could sense that she wrote every word with conviction.

The author also has a gift at creating characters that actually evoke emotions. Lizzie, Neil's young wife was my favourite character. I hated how Neil treated her and made her feel weak and stupid. However I'm glad to see that she grew as a character throughout the whole novel. I felt so bad for her. She's thrust into a new life, on an isolate island where her husband is the only one that can speak English with her, she's also coming to terms with her impending motherhood and struggling to find the real Lizzie.

I personally HATED Neil. The way he treated Lizzie was abhorrent to me and the fact that he treated her so poorly to make up for his own mistakes sickened me. However, just because I hate Neil and wanted to strangle him at several points in the book I feel that Karin wrote him very realistically. I did not agree with Neil much throughout the book if ever. I know that he went to St. Kilda with good intentions but I think he failed the islanders in a lot of ways. Most of all I hated how he looked down on them from his holier than thou pedestal that he placed himself on. It really irritated me but it worked for the novel as a whole.

I also enjoyed the setting. I felt as if I were actually in the places where scenes in the book took place. She was descriptive without overdoing it and that enabled her to write the scenes beautifully. It's wonderful to find an author who is skilled at making the reader feel as if they are present in the novel.

I think that this book was rich in history and though I didn't always see eye to eye with Neil I think that Karin Altenberg is extremely adept at creating characters, she makes them so realistic you can't help but admire her skill in writing. The novel as a whole is a great example of a debut author writing a fantastic piece of historical fiction.

I would have absolutely no problem recommending this book to anyone. I especially recommend it to lovers of historical fiction and those who may be new to the genre. It's great book and is now one of my new favourites. I can see myself reading this one again and again.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my freehonest review.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Wonderful trek back in time. 31. Dezember 2011
Von Lyn Meadows - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
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.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating story of a little-known place and history 14. Februar 2012
Von Mary Reinert - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
As a lover of historical fiction, I picked up this book based on the cover without really knowing much about it. What an interesting story of such a little known place as the St. Kilda islands. Having never even heard of them, I did a bit of Google research and found that the story was based on the life of a real minister and his wife. There are really two sides of this novel. First, the experiences of ministering to the native Scottish people living on a remote and barren archipelago provide the basic plot line. These people are taught the words of the Scripture and doctrine of the church but continue to understand much of the world through their own superstitions and pagan beliefs. Secondly, this is the story of a man and woman. They are young, enthusiastic, naive, and hopeful when they land on the islands. The reality of hardship, death, and sorrow soon shape their relationship into one of fear, distrust, and misunderstanding. It's an age old story of how the lack of being able to speak from the heart one to another causes so much sorrow.

This book is obviously well researched and I found the descriptions of the islands and the daily lives of those living there to be very interesting. At the same time, I found the tension between Rev. MacKenzie and his wife Lizzie to be very believable, tension wrapped up with sadness, tenderness, confusion, fear, anger, and love.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A profound novel of isolation and grief 3. November 2011
Von Great Historicals - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
In the year 1830, a young, newly married couple arrive on the island/archipelago of Saint Kilda in the North Atlantic; an island at the far edges of the civilized world beyond the British Isles.

Neil Mackenzie, a minister, and his young wife, Lizzie, pregnant with her first child are there on a mission to bring Christianity to island people who live in squalor and extremely primitive conditions. One of the sole sources of food for the inhabitants are the sea birds.

Neil is deeply passionate about his faith and a man haunted by demons of the past. He fanatically dedicates to converting the pagan islanders to Christianity. Lizzie struggles to adjust to the primitive conditions where most newborn babies never survive past their second week of life and unable to communicate with neighbors because she cannot speak their native Gaelic tongue.

As her husband becomes more and more fanatical and authoritative with both Lizzie and the people he serves, Lizzie finds herself questioning her marriage and becoming more isolated.

The Island of Wings is a powerful study of the fragility of marriage, and the differences between a man and woman, past and present, Christian and paganism, and life and death.

The author's prose evokes powerful images of the island's landscape and delves deeply into emotions such as devotion, grief, and loneliness. With every word read of this tragic novel, I could feel the desolation and solitude, the despair and loss of hope. Hauntingly beautiful, this tale paints a vivid picture of an exotic, fascinating society that no longer exists. A beautiful, profound masterpiece!

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