The sad death of an island community,
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This review is from: The Life and Death of St. Kilda: The moving story of a vanished island community (Paperback)
Initially, I bought this book as a gift for someone and after they had read it, passed it back to me. The Islands of St Kilda are remote indeed and it is amazing that anyone could actually eke out a living upon them. The book goes into detail just how the Islanders did this and it is both strange and moving to read of their sheer tenacity, whilst trying to survive in the face of great hardship. The highest winds ever recorded in the British Isles was here in St Kilda, the roar so great that the peoples hearing was affected and it was too dangerous to venture out of their strange traditionally built homes.
Religeon plays a big part in the Islands history and this forms the basis for a close knit community but bordered on the fanatical. Church services were numerous and compulsory and one gets the feeling that to object would have rendered that person an outcast.
The Islanders were expert climbers. They needed to be, since a large part of their diet consisted of sea birds and their eggs which were collected in great quantities from the precarious locations upon the cliff faces that reared up out of the brooding Ocean.
The Islander's demise is both sad and yet understandable. Those that were left had to be evacuated to the Mainland and this part of the story is particularly sad. The few that were sucessfully relocated did not settle well and longed for Island life once more but of course, it was never to be.
A hauntingly beautiful account of a long lost people, this book will challenge your perceptions about materialism and our own viewpoint on life.