Two very different books, but taking inspiration from the same place – Holy Island has inspired a new children’s novel and a fascinating guide book.
Across the Divide is the recently-published story for youngsters by Anne Booth, from Kent, who described Lindisfarne as one of her favourite places.
Meanwhile, Holy Island – A Visitor’s Guide is a 72-page guide to the island, written by local author, Ian Kerr.
Across the Divide tackles modern issues around pacifism, war and protest.
It tells the story of Olivia, a modern-day girl who argues with her mother, a peace activist, because she wants to join the Army cadets school and finds herself at the centre of a bitter row.
Sent to Lindisfarne to stay with her estranged father, she meets a mysterious old-fashioned boy also struggling with ideas of peace and conflict, and their friendship helps her bridge the divide at home.
Anne said: “The beautiful island of Lindisfarne is one of my favourite places – a place where the gap between past and present often feels very thin.
“On a visit to Lindisfarne, I was moved to read about Billy Congreve, who stayed at Lindisfarne Castle as a boy and was later killed in the First World War.
“As I researched about Billy, I learned about conscientious objectors. At the same time, I was becoming aware of the growing divisions in our society today and how some people fear those who try to make peace. All this inspired my story about Olivia.”
The book (ISBN 978-191061-111-1) is for ages 9+. Published by Catnip, it is £6.99 paperback.
For anyone who is planning a visit to, or with an interest in, the island, Ian’s book will be an invaluable guide to appreciating this special place.
His easy-to-read style describes the range of places of interest and aims to give information about them. He starts with a detailed look around the village before heading towards the quieter side of the island to describe its flora and fauna.
This engaging book provides a thorough look at the island and is full of interesting facts.
It is well illustrated too – with impressive photographs and a map of the island on the inside front and back cover, beautifully drawn by Northumbrian artist, Sarah Farooqi. The atmospheric photograph on the front cover was taken by Emma Rothera, a professional photographer and resident of Holy Island.
Ian is a font of knowledge on all things Holy Island and the guide was produced as part of the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Scheme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and aims to provide conservation and public engagement projects on the island and adjacent mainland.
The guide (ISBN: 978-1-873402-40-5) is £7.95, from www.northumberlandcoastaonb.org/publications