Novel Set In Scilly Shortlisted For Costa Book Awards

Michael Morpurgo at the Porthcressa Library last year.

Michael Morpurgo at the Porthcressa Library last year.

An author whose latest novel is set in Scilly is a finalist in the prestigious Costa Book Awards.

Michael Morpurgo, who regularly stays on Bryher, set his book ‘Listen to the Moon’ in 1915.

In it the main character, a young girl, is washed up alone on St Helens after the liner that she’s traveling on, the Lusitania, is sunk by German submarines en route from the USA to England.

When the girl is discovered, she’s treated with suspicion because the trauma has rendered her unable to communicate.

The story is set against the backdrop of the First World War and Michael says his research revealed a lot about Scilly during that conflict.

At the start of the war, the Germans issued an order that no ship should attack the islands because they were so grateful for the Scillonians’ help rescuing their citizens when the Schiller sank.

That fact is also woven into the story.

The Costa Book Awards is the only major UK literary prize open solely to writers who live in the UK and Ireland. Michael’s novel has been shortlisted by judges in the ‘Children’s Book’ category.

Christopher Rogers, Managing Director of Costa, says the finalists’ list demonstrates what a great year it’s been for books.

The winners of the five categories will be announced on 5th January and will each receive £5,000. The Costa Book of the Year winner will be revealed on January 27th and will receive £30,000.