"A heartbreaking tale, based on fact, about a minister and his restless wife sent to a remote island to save souls – perhaps at the cost of their own." — Julia Keller, The Chicago Tribune [selected as a Best Book of 2011]
"Haunting yet beautiful, dark yet poetic…Drawing on historically accurate roots, including real-life figures Neil and Lizzie MacKenzie, Altenberg creates a mesmerizing tapestry that will surely linger in the reader’s mind." — Booklist
"Island of Wings captures a world that disappears in the act of description, and the love, so inescapable and elusive, of the outsiders who try to tame it.With scrupulous attention to place, history, and the natural world, Island of Wings tells a story washed by a clean and lovely kind of sorrow."
— Anne Enright, Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering
"In this winning debut, Altenberg, a trained archeologist, brings a subtle voice to this odd bit of history, in which faith and marriage are no match for isolation." — Kirkus Reviews
"’There are shades of Alistair MacLeod and of John McGahern in this beautiful story of love and loss among the dark sea cliffs of St Kilda. The book tastes wonderfully of its own weather, of sea salt on the tongue, and I read it with a rising sense of appreciation. ISLAND OF WINGS is a precise, subtle, spiritually alive debut from Karin Altenberg.." — Andrew O’Hagan, author of Our Fathers
"Based on documentary sources, this evocative debut novel enmeshes readers in a society that no longer exists, on rugged Scottish islands few tourists visit. Complex characters and historical events that impact the lives of the islanders provide much to ponder and discuss." — Library Journal