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Island Life, Word Birds & Process

This blog isn’t a platform for book reviews. It’s largely a record of my writing process & in any case, I’m not a book blogger – I leave that to the experts. I do review books I really enjoy: the ones with that extra slice of magic & post them to Amazon. Every once in a while a book comes along that takes my breath away. Sealskin by Su Bristow is such a book & an exception to my ‘house’ rule in more ways than one.


I was fortunate to be offered this book as an ARC (advance reading copy) some months ago. The publisher, Karen Sullivan (Orenda Books) asked me to give her a quote for the jacket. I wrote my review, shared it with Karen & I’ve been holding onto the full version ever since, assuming she would pick out the bit she particularly liked.

The nature of a proof copy means the ‘fancy’ bits are often missing: acknowledgements, reader/media reviews & quotes etc. Imagine my delight when I looked inside the ‘real thing’ on Amazon the other day in search of a one-liner & discovered my review in full!

With the book due for its paperback release in three days, this seems as good a time as any to post it here.

“On the face of it, Sealskin is a gentle tale, a lovely reworking of the selkie fable many of us have known and loved since childhood. Do not be fooled, dear reader, beneath this simple re-imagining lies a story as deep as the ocean the selkie comes from. I was captivated from the first page to the poignant last one, by the sympathetically drawn characters and a mesmerising sense of place. In between are moments of tragedy, moments of grace and redemption; the whole wrapped in Su Bristow’s charismatic writing. This is a story that catches on the edge of your heart leaving tiny scars; reminders of a journey into a beloved legend, the human lives caught up in it and the consequences of the choices they make. It is, quite simply, exceptional.”

I wish Su & her lovely book the best of luck – I hope it sells forever.

Buy here & from Orenda.