Well, I’ve just finished reading Seal Skin by Su Bristow and I have to admit I am at a loss as to what to write here.
My usual ranting and raving about how ‘utterly amazing’ a book is just doesn’t feel right for this one . . . Seal Skin is too delicate to ‘rant’ about, it’s too enthralling to be subjected to my usual raving. But it deserves to be raved about, so I find myself a little lost about how best to write this review.
It’s probably best to start with the blurb . . .
ORENDA BOOKS (20 Dec. 2016)
What happens when magic collides with reality? Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous … and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives – not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence? Based on the legend of the selkies – seals who can transform into people – Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice. With exquisite grace, Exeter Novel Prize-winner Su Bristow transports us to a different world, subtly and beautifully exploring what it means to be an outsider, and our innate capacity for forgiveness and acceptance. Rich with myth and magic, Sealskin is, nonetheless, a very human story, as relevant to our world as to the timeless place in which it is set. And it is, quite simply, unforgettable. For fans of Angela Carter, Eowyn Ivey, Alice Hoffmann and Geraldine Brooks.
My thoughts . . .
This is the shortest review I have ever written but it says everything you need to know about this book.
I am so grateful to the wonderful author, Su Bristow and her super publisher, Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books) for my copy it will truly be treasured.
Keep up with the rest of the tour by following the blogs below:
And pop over to see Janet at FromFirstPageToLast where I am certain you will find a more detailed review.
About the author . . .
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 CreativeWritingMatters flash fiction competition. Sealskin is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish and Nordic 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’.