#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2017
Today’s #bookvent pick is one I read way back at the very start of the year, and reviewed in February. It is the most spellbinding book, so very different from anything I would normally read but so beautifully written, that I couldn’t possibly leave it out of my #bookvent countdown. When I created by #booklove feature this year, this book appeared so many times as it is so well loved and I can totally understand why. The vivid imagery and the absolute wonder the author has recreated in this book is truly magical, as is the story. My day twelve #bookvent pick is …
by Su Bristow
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
How do you even begin to review or sum up a book like Sealskin? Quite possibly one of the most beautiful books I have read, this touched me in a way I never expected. Retelling the legend of the Selkies, Donald does something so awful, so abhorrent, that you cannot imagine how he can redeem himself, and yet by the end of the book he does. Not only that, but what befalls him and his little family is so truly moving that it will bring a tear to your eye. The way in wich Su Bristow has captured not only the setting but the beautiful way in which Donald and Mairhi’s relationship develops, the gentle nature that she finally brings forth in him, is so touching, so absolutely moving, that you cannot help but fall in love with them, in spite of yourself. Despite the inevitability about a partnership forged under such circumstances, of how this book would undoubtedly end, I couldn’t stop reading. There is a truly mystical, ethereal quality to the writing, so graceful, so beautiful and so thoroughly entrancing, that it had me from the first page to the last.
You can read my full review of Sealskin right here and order a copy of the book from the following links.
Happy #bookvent reading all