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Sealskin (Paperback)

Usually despatched within 2 days.


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.

`Told with skill and beauty ... held me spellbound to the very last page' Amanda Jennings

`Accomplished and intelligent ... a fine piece of craftsmanship and a pleasure to read' Allan Massie

`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

Fiction & PoetryHistorical FictionMyth & legend told as fictionFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945Fiction & PoetryRomanceRomanceAdult & contemporary romance Publisher: Orenda Books Publication Date: 15/02/2017 ISBN-13: 9781910633601  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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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 Su's debut novel and it won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013. Her writing has been described as `magical realism; Angela Carter meets Eowyn Ivey'.

More books by Su Bristow

Customer Reviews

Enchanting, enthralling, charismatic and mesmerising, this book really is a thing of beauty! I'd been wanting to read it for ages and I was over the moon to win it in a Twitter competition. I was not disappointed, I truly adored every word and now I just want to start reading it all over again! There's a Scottish legend about Water Selkies -'Seal Folk' who are mythological beings capable of changing from seal to human form by shedding their skin. These selkie folk have been recounted many times in Scottish folklore and are a delight to hear of. "Sealskin" written by Su Bristow is a beautifully crafted tale about that mysterious legend and one selkie in particular who finds herself unable to return to her skin - so prepare to unwind, chill and immerse yourself in a little Scottish magic! This book was pure medicine for me at the moment, it was such a lovely distraction from everyday life and I was happy to be transported to a different world. I was captivated by the atmospheric coastal setting and the characters were just perfect - Mairhi was so innocent, gentle and lovely. I truly felt for her predicament, finding herself so far away from her family and home and not understanding a thing in her new life. Set on the west coast of Scotland (a place I adore) I thoroughly enjoyed this magical and spell bounding story and could visualise every scene clearly even though set fictionally many years ago. I won't talk about the denouement or give any clues as to how it ends but it was as I imagined it to be with a little twist to boot. Beautifully written by a talented and imaginative author, this was such a complete and welcome change from my humdrum routine of life. A typical classic Orenda publication, this book will be categorically staying on my book shelf and will most certainly be read again! So if you too fancy some Scottish cultural fantasy fiction then this is definitely the book to read, atmospheric, haunting and so human - just perfect! 5 magical stars.

- 24/08/2018
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