A beautiful and haunting novel that will stay with you long after you have finished.
When I initially started this book I was excited as I love fantasy, especially when in real and contemporary settings, but…when I reached the end of the first chapter I was shocked and stunned. The main character Donald does something unspeakably awful and that I initially felt was unforgivable. Bristow explores the feelings around this terrible act and how it affects all the people in his small community around him.
The selkie woman/girl/creature, who is named Mhairi, inhabits the world in a strange and mysterious way with no speech but a subtle power of her own. She is the one that shapes the future and holds the power of redemption. Her effect on the community is like balm on a wound. The people are tired, rigid and sad and even though there is no direct magic, you can feel the difference this person from a different world makes.
An engrossing story, that I found enjoyable to read and read in three sittings, in three consecutive evenings. A story and characters that grip you beneath your own emotion and right into the core of what you believe.
Read this book if you like: Scotland, Selkies, Fantasy, Mythical Stories, Tales of the Sea.
About Su Bristow
Su Bristow is a consultant medical herbalist by day. She’s the author of two books on herbal medicine: The Herbal Medicine Chest and The Herb Handbook; and two on relationship skills: The Courage to Love and Falling in Love, Staying in Love, co-written with psychotherapist, Malcolm Stern. Her published fiction includes ‘Troll Steps’ (in the anthology, Barcelona to Bihar), and ‘Changes’ which came second in the 2010 Creative Writing Matters flash fiction competition. Her forthcoming novel, Sealskin, is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish legend of the selkies, or seals who can turn into people. It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013. Her writing has been described as ‘magical realism; Angela Carter meets Eowyn Ivey’.
Follow Su on Twitter @SuBristow
Sealskin is publish by Orenda books – to purchase click here
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Thanks for reading!