The Eagle and the Oystercatcher by Holly Bidgood
In April 1940, two British Destroyers sail into the harbour at Tórshavn. From that point onwards the lives of the Faroe Islanders are irrevocably altered.
Eighteen-year-old Kjartan blames the war for taking away the last remaining member of his family. At the same time he is struggling with intense feelings for his best friend Orri.
While they puzzle over the true identity of the herbalist who lives on the spiky slopes of the islet Tindhólmur, miraculous recoveries of the sick begin taking place all over the islands.
There is one person above all others that Kjartan and Orri hope can be made well again, but when this finally seems to be happening, the war deals them its cruellest blow yet.
Peopled by a cast of characters worthy of Dickens, The Eagle and The Oystercatcher resonates with evocative descriptions of the bleak landscape of the Faroe Islands, coloured by rain and snow. The author demonstrates a skilful ability to convey the everyday details of the islanders’ lives. By way of Kjartan’s trials and tribulations he grows from a boy into a man, through a series of long, dark winters and the hopeful promise of each spring beyond.