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.
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Why oh why the unwelcome twist?
Opens with a rape scene
Stopped listening and returned less than 15 minutes in. By all accounts this book is well-written and perhaps others would be able to see past the shocking opening in which the protagonist unambiguously rapes a young woman, but as someone who's been through that experience I have no desire to hear any more. From reading some interviews online I see that Bristow has views on the subject that definitely won't go down too well with some rape victims, myself included. She's entitled to those views, and people are of course entitled to love this book, but it's definitely not for me. Posting this review as I wish I'd seen something like it beforehand so I could have made a more informed decision.