Sealskin (Paperback)
  • Sealskin (Paperback)
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Sealskin (Paperback)

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£8.99
Paperback 276 Pages / Published: 15/02/2017
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An exquisitely written, heart-achingly beautiful retelling of the Selkie legend ... both timeless and timely ... by award-winning debut author Su Bristow SHORTLISTED FOR THE PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE 'Sorrowful and lovely, with a well-earned, satisfying conclusion' Publishers Weekly 'Accomplished and intelligent ... a fine piece of craftsmanship and a pleasure to read' Allan Massie 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. 'This assured and readable story is determined to show that change and growth are possible, even on the very margins of society. The heartfelt message seems to be that acceptance comes when individuals face up to their fears and act for the good beyond themselves' Guardian 'It's a multi-layered romance which sits equally well in the realms of literary fiction which is where its publisher's interests lie' Frost Magazine 'Told with skill and beauty ... held me spellbound to the very last page' Amanda Jennings 'Achingly beautiful ... written smoothly and skilfully ... I absolutely loved it' Gill Paul 'Original, vivid, tender and atmospheric ... this is a story so deeply immersive that you emerge at the end, gasping for air' Iona Grey 'An enthralling human love story. A profound achievement and a stunning debut' Richard Bean 'I love books in which magic takes on a gritty reality, and Sealskin is just such a book. Dark and brooding and half-familiar, the tale steals over you till you're half-in, half-out of a dream' Jane Johnson 'A beautiful and bewitching read that haunted my thoughts for days. The sense of the sea, of this small community, of guilt is palpable. This is one of those books you place reverentially on your bookcase and envy those who are yet to dive in' Michael J. Malone 'Ms Bristow's skill in weaving a centuries-old tale into a current-day fiction novel and binding the two together is simply superbly done. Sealskin is boldly written, brilliantly told and a tale of legendary proportions' JM Hewitt 'Sealskin is a magical and moral tale woven with a deft hand' Sara MacDonald 'Sealskin is a tender, moving and gentle read. Whilst there is an obvious magical feel to it, it's so well written that it becomes almost believable. It's a really lovely story and one which I think will stay with me' New Books Magazine

Publisher: Orenda Books
ISBN: 9781910633601
Number of pages: 276
Weight: 230 g
Dimensions: 128 x 198 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Sealskin is an accomplished and intelligent novel, a fine piece of craftsmanship and a pleasure to read' Allan Massie * 'Bristow has taken a known myth, and created an enthralling, human love story. A profound achievement, and a stunning debut' Richard Bean * 'An extraordinary book: original, vivid, tender and atmospheric. Su Bristow's writing is fluid and flawless, and this is a story so deeply immersive that you emerge at the end, gasping for air' Iona Grey * 'I love books in which magic takes on a gritty reality, and Sealskin is just such a book. Dark and brooding and half-familiar, the tale steals over you till you're half-in, half-out of a dream' Jane Johnson * 'An evocative story, told with skill and beauty, that held me spellbound until the very last page' Amanda Jennings * 'On the face of it, Sealskin is a gentle tale, a lovely reworking of the selkie legend many of us have known and loved since childhood. Do not be fooled, dear reader; beneath this simple re-imagining lies a story as deep as the ocean the selkie comes from. I was captivated from the first page to the poignant last one, by the sympathetically drawn characters and a mesmerising sense of place. In between are moments of tragedy, moments of grace and redemption; the whole wrapped in Su Bristow's charismatic writing. This is a story that catches on the edge of your heart, leaving tiny scars; reminders of a journey into a beloved legend, the human lives caught up in it and the consequences of the choices they make. It is, quite simply, exceptional' Carole Lovekin * 'In this achingly beautiful retelling of the classic Scottish folk tale, Su Bristow brings psychological depth and great warmth to the characters, making the ending all the more heart-breaking. It's a story about the tensions of life in a tiny fishing community, about bullying and violence as well as the healing magic of nature. It's written smoothly and skilfully with not a word too many or a word too few. I absolutely loved it and can't recommend it highly enough' Gill Paul * 'A beautiful and bewitching read that haunted my thoughts for days. The sense of the sea, of this small community, of guilt is palpable. This is one of those books you place reverentially on your bookcase and envy those who are yet to dive in' Michael J. Malone * 'Sealskin is the most exquisite tale of love, forgiveness and magic. Inspired by the legends of the selkies, this gorgeous novel is a dark fairy tale, an ode to traditional storytelling, a tribute to the stories we loved hearing as children. But be warned - this is no happy-ever-after tale. The language is just glorious, poetic and rich but precise. And her characters - oh, they will remain in your heart long after you've closed the last page. Mairhi - especially since she never really "speaks" - is a beautiful mystery, but one who haunted me when I was between chapters. If this is her first, then I can't wait to read whatever Su Bristow bestows upon the literary world next' Louise Beech * 'Ms Bristow's skill in weaving a centuries-old tale into a current-day fiction novel and binding the two together is simply superbly done. Sealskin is boldly written, brilliantly told and a tale of legendary proportions' JM Hewitt * 'Sealskin is a magical and moral tale woven with a deft hand' Sara MacDonald * 'With its beautiful language and magical storytelling, Sealskin is a clear winner for me' Sophie Duffy

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Paperback

“A Scottish legend brought to life in a magical story.”

I could not even begin to think of how many books I have read in my life and especially since I started writing book review that have affected me in one way or another there have been many through the years. In March... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 60
TripFiction

“Take yourself off to the magical HEBRIDES”

Sealskin brilliantly re-works the North European myth of the selkie – a phantastic creature that is a seal until it sheds its skin to take on human form and character. This myth goes back a long way into the mists of... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 54

“A magical romance / tale of fishing folk”


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This novel deals with a small fishing village in Western Scotland where Donald Macfarlane meets a selkie and ends up bringing her home. Mairhi,... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 30

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