What I Read: The Stolen Hours by Karen Swan

“You are my stolen hours, Mhairi. The ones I cherish the most. The ones I live for. The ones I would die for.”

The Stolen Hours by Karen SwanThe Stolen Hours is a captivating and moving novel that transports the reader to the remote and mysterious island of St Kilda, where a forbidden love story unfolds against the backdrop of a historical event. The book is the second instalment in the Wild Isle Series, but it can be read as a standalone. It isn’t a sequel; it is more of a ‘parallel’ story.  After reading “The Stolen Hours” I was keen to read the first book, “The Last Summer” again!

The story follows Mhairi MacKinnon, a young woman who lives on St Kilda with her large family. She loves her home and her people, but she knows that her father cannot afford to keep her much longer. When he arranges a marriage for her with a man from Harris, she reluctantly agrees to go with him on his last trip of the year. However, on the way, she meets another man who steals her heart and changes her life forever.

The Stolen Hours by Karen SwanThe book also explores the history and culture of St Kilda, a fascinating place that was evacuated in 1930 due to harsh living conditions and dwindling population. The author vividly describes the island’s beauty and challenges, as well as the customs and traditions of its inhabitants.

“There is a magic to this island that defies explanation. It is a place where time stands still, where the past and the present mingle, where the impossible becomes possible.”

The Stolen Hours by Karen SwanShe also portrays the impact of the evacuation on the people, who had to leave behind their ancestral home and adapt to a new world.

“St Kilda will always be in my heart, no matter where I go. It is my home, my heritage, my identity. It is where I met you, where I loved you, where I lost you. It is the wild isle of my dreams.”

The book is full of romance, heartache, drama, mystery, and adventure. The writing is engaging and atmospheric, making the reader feel immersed in the story. Karen Swan masterfully creates suspense and intrigue as the reader wonders how this relationship will end.

The book is a perfect blend of historical fiction and romantic suspense.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, romance, or stories set in Scotland. It is a captivating and emotional read that will keep you hooked until the end.

With thanks to Pan Macmillan SA for the opportunity to read this book.

About this book

Release date:  27 April 2023
ISBN:  9781529084429
432 pages

About the author

Karen Swan