Sealskin by Su Bristow. Published by Trafalgar Square

Having Irish grandparents, I was well acquainted with the Selkie legend; here Bristow uses the old tale to form the basis for her novel. Donald, a fisherman often ostracized by the other men in his village comes upon an unusual scene while fishing one night. He spies a group of beautiful, naked women, dancing in the moonlight. These women are Selkies, half human and half seal, and Donald rashly hides one of the seal skins they have temporarily shed. When they leave to go back to their watery home, one woman, unable to find her seal skin is trapped in human form. Donald takes advantage of the woman, then carries her home. His mother knows at once what has happened and also knows that a child will result from the brutal assault. What follows is the story of Donald, his mother Bridie, the Selkie and her children. Can Donald keep his strange, mute bride by his side forever, or will she someday return to the sea. An old tale of loss and heartbreak retold

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