review by showhost 25th Sept 2014
I was a little unsure when I started reading it that I was going to like it, it seemed a little slow and simplistic but as the pages went on I got really engrossed in it. I suppose it helps that we live on the Scillies, which is where the book is based and that I can stop and look over to St Helens and Bryher, where the story took place. I loved the historical fact which was intertwined within the story.
It is 1915 and Britain is at war with Germany. Alfie and his father are fishing for Mackerel when they hear what sounds like a girl crying on the uninhabited island of St Helens. They investigate and find an injured, dehydrated, malnourished young girl, a stranger to the islands. The girl cannot speak and has no recollection of who she is or where she came from. The only word she says is Lucy - so Lucy Lost she became known. She is taken in by Alfies family and accepted by the locals but speech doesn't come. She is fascinated by the gramophone and Mozart and can play the piano competently as well as ride a horse. As the war rages, with Germany, local lads are going off to war one returning a broken person from how he went & others will not return at all. The islanders friendliness turns to hostility.when it is discovered that Lucy has a blanket with a german name on it and Lucy and Alfie face daily threats. During the story we learn about a girl called Merry, who lives in New York with her family. Who, when her father goes off to war and is injured and taken to Britain, undertakes the transatlantic crossing with her mother on the ill fated Lusitania.
I really enjoyed this book. Island life comes across very well.