Summer Reading: Sealskin by Su Bristow


I’ve finished two books in my Summer Reading Challenge. 🙂 This was the first one. I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time. If you love supporting indie authors this book is for you, it’s published by Orenda Books  

What attracted me to this book besides it’s indie is the location of Scotland and the retelling of a Scottish legend.

Synopsis 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 Thoughts

This beautiful story drew me right in, it flows seamlessly. It begins when Donald watches some seals and sees something miraculous which changes his life. Donald is a very human character, with flaws and he makes a mistake which he tries to atone for. He’s an introvert and doesn’t really talk much to others in the community but after this moment at the beginning of the book this has to change. Every character is realistic and you get a real sense of life in a small coastal village, surviving on the fishermen’s catch and their own farms. How hard it can be and how close the community is.

I don’t want to give away too much of the narrative except to say that this is a wonderful retelling of a Scottish legend, it doesn’t take anything away and is perfect.

The hardest reviews to write are for the books you enjoy so much because you can’t really put into words how much you enjoy it, if I had to chose a few words to describe this book I’d say: magical, immersive, mythical, beautiful.

I enjoyed every moment of this book and it’s characters.



3 thoughts on “Summer Reading: Sealskin by Su Bristow”

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