Tuesday 24 September 2019

Seal Skin by Su Bristow

SealskinSealskin by Su Bristow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1.5 days

Pages - 276

Publisher - Orenda Books

Source - Gifted by another reader

Blurb from Goodreads

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—evokes 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, 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.

My Review

Donald is a bit of a loner, an outcast among his own people, never really fitting in. One night he sees something of legend, something most folk wouldn't believe. There is a horrific encounter that changes everything for Donald. Can good ever come from a horrific event, will Donald ever be accepted? A story that looks at Scottish legends and the age old actions and consequences.

I remember the stories of selkies as a kid and loved them. This is just like those old stories but we have a family aspect, healing, love, secrets, lies and of course the horrific sexual attack, it is brief and not in depth of details but just a headsup.

We see a lot of character development in this story, Donald is such a loner and not very accepted within his community. It is really just him and his mother, his mother is a healer of sorts and trusted within the community. When Mairhi comes along she changes Donald's live in so many ways and has such a huge impact on their small town.

There are so many stories from the legend of selkies and whilst is has been a long long time since I read them this took me back to when I was a kid. I really liked this retelling and it makes me want to go back and read more of the older stories, 4/5 for me.

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