Read over 5 days.


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 was a beautiful read. The writing was so beautiful and entrancing. I find this hard to believe it’s a debut novel. I was recommended this book and was glad it was so.
It’s based on Scottish folk lore, On the tales of the Selkies, seals who change to human form when they set foot on land.
Donald when out checking his crab traps is a witness to this miracle, and takes the fateful decision to hide the sealskin of one Selkie so she is marooned; in human form to the land.
This was a read that combines folk traditions and all the mundane tasks of everyday living; earning a living, raising children etc.
I would recommend this read as a alternative to anyone who is maybe jaded with their current genre.
A 5 star read for me.

About the Author.

Su Bristow 

Sue Bristow

Su Bristow is a consultant medical herbalist by day. She’s the author of two books on herbal medicine: The Herbal Medicine Chest and The Herb Handbook; and two on relationship skills: The Courage to Love and Falling in Love, Staying in Love, co-written with psychotherapist, Malcolm Stern. Her published fiction includes ‘Troll Steps’ (in the anthology, Barcelona to Bihar), and ‘Changes’ which came second in the 2010 Creative Writing Matters flash fiction competition. Sealskin is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish and Nordic legend of the selkies, or seals who can turn into people. It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013. Her writing has been described as ‘magical realism; Angela Carter meets Eowyn Ivey’.