An incredibly moving and gripping book set on the islands off the coast of Scotland in the western most islands of the Outer Hebrides one of the most remote locations you could imagine. The inhabitants eek out a living by hunting on rocky vertical outcrops called Stacs, which are out in the ocean, gathering birds and their eggs and selling them to the owner of the islands and living on only those in teams. Then a boat arrives back and carries the hunters back to their family on the nearly as miserable island, Hirta, where they live with their families. It is grim. They have little to no equipment to use, they have frayed ropes and not enough warm clothing.
This book tells the story of one team of 9 men and 3 boys out harvesting on the Stac in 1727, it is based on a true event and is written beautifully by a fabulous writer who has obviously done her research on the horrific event that occurs in this book. I think it is best not to give a warning of what befalls these poor people, but just to say that they are there a terrifically long and miserable time. This is a rich and sorry tale but completely gripping. I’ll be recommending it all over the place to staff and students.