The sea has flooded the earth. North lives on a circus boat, floating between the scattered islands that remain. She dances with her beloved bear, while the rest of the crew trade dazzling and death-defying feats for food from the islanders.
However, North has a secret that could capsize her life with the circus. Callanish lives alone in her house in the middle of the ocean, with only the birds and the fish for company. As penance for a terrible mistake, she works as a gracekeeper, tending the graves of those who die at sea. What drove her from home is also what pulls her towards North.
When a storm creates a chance meeting between the two girls, their worlds change. They are magnetically drawn to one another, and the promise of a new life. But the waters are treacherous, and the tide is against them.
©2015 Kirsty Logan (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Critic reviews

"Beautiful and bewitching: read it and be swept away on a magical wave of love and language." ( The Bookseller)
"In luscious, vivid prose, Logan brings to mind Angela Carter, or Atwood or Winterson at their best." ( The Independent)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By P78 on 28-06-15

I really wanted to like this but...

It was a great idea, a post-apocalyptic world where people mainly live on boats but a few remain on the minimal amount of land that is left. but it was just so slow... There were loads of characters with the potential for great back stories which were hardly uncovered, and it ended rather weakly, leaving me thinking: "Is that it?"

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ashleigh M on 27-07-15

I Loved It!

I could very have easily read/listened to this book in one sitting but it was one I actually wanted to savour. The prose in this novel is just absolutely gorgeous and the world building that Kirsty has done here is just something I wanted to keep a hold of. This story wouldn’t have been nearly as good if it wasn’t for her use of language; it really captured the magic of the mysterious circus ship.

In the end, after listening to a clip of Kirsty reading this, I couldn’t resist buying the audiobook and I seriously, seriously recommend it. It added a whole new level to it and allowed me to savour it for longer! It definitely added a little more magic to the story – it was a very passive narration, it was slow and gentle but powerful all the same. Kirsty reading it herself added a new dimension to the story, certain inflections on certain words... it made the reading experience as a whole very rewarding.

This is an old fashioned story in my opinion. It’s based on Scottish folklore and myth but is a modern fairytale twist on several bits of the history. We follow, mainly, North and Callanish and their experiences as a bear girl in a floating circus and a Gracekeeper - the keeper of the dead - respectively. Their paths inevitably cross and it changes both of their lives for the better. I won’t give too much away because I feel this is definitely a story that needs to be read!

I struggled getting a rating for this one because I really loved it, I really wanted to give it 5 stars but the ending was a little hurried in my opinion. It was a fitting, wonderful ending but it felt rushed. The last quarter I couldn’t put down whatsoever, the combination of circumstance and great characters made this so difficult to put down and I just felt bereft when it was actually over. So, on a lot more thought I decided to stick with the initial 4/5 as while it was a beautiful story, beautifully read, there was just a little something missing for me!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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