Last night I was so lucky to be able to attend the launch of one of the best books I’ve read this year, Sealskin by Su Bristow. If you haven’t yet discovered this wonderful book, you’ll find my review here.
The event was hosted at Goldsboro Books where they had produced a magnificent display of Sealskin in their window.
Sealskin publisher Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books introduced the evening, sharing some of the amazing reviews Sealskin has received.
As well as the chance to catch up with several blogger friends, authors (including Amanda Jennings) and agents like Broo Doherty, the highlight of the evening was meeting Su Bristow and hearing her read from the wonderful Sealskin.
When Su finished her reading there was pin drop silence as we were all so entranced, before we burst into applause.
The evening continued with wine and a very lovely Sealskin cake. It was just a shame the trains constrained me as usual!
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.
Sealskin is published by Orenda and is available in ebook and paperback by following the publisher links here.
About Su 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 CreativeWritingMatters flash fiction competition. Her novel, Sealskin, is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish 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’.