"Sealskin" by Su Bristow (English Edition)

"Sealskin" by Su Bristow (English Edition)

"Sealskin" by Su Bristow (English Edition)

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An exquisitely written, heart-achingly beautiful retelling of the Selkie legend … both timeless and timely … by award-winning debut author Su Bristow

‘Told with skill and beauty … held me spellbound to the very last page’ Amanda Jennings

‘Sorrowful and lovely, with a well-earned, satisfying conclusion’ Publishers Weekly

‘Accomplished and intelligent … a fine piece of craftsmanship and a pleasure to read’ Allan Massie



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.


‘This assured and readable story is determined to show that change and growth are possible, even on the very margins of society. The heartfelt message seems to be that acceptance comes when individuals face up to their fears and act for the good beyond themselves’ Guardian

‘It’s a multi-layered romance which sits equally well in the realms of literary fiction’ Frost Magazine

‘Achingly beautiful … written smoothly and skilfully … I absolutely loved it’ Gill Paul

‘Original, vivid, tender and atmospheric … this is a story so deeply immersive that you emerge at the end, gasping for air’ Iona Grey

‘An enthralling human love story. A profound achievement and a stunning debut’ Richard Bean

‘I love books in which magic takes on a gritty reality, and Sealskin is just such a book. Dark and brooding and half-familiar, the tale steals over you till you’re half-in, half-out of a dream’ Jane Johnson

‘A beautiful and bewitching read that haunted my thoughts for days. The sense of the sea, of this small community, of guilt is palpable. This is one of those books you place reverentially on your bookcase and envy those who are yet to dive in’ Michael J. Malone

‘Ms Bristow’s skill in weaving a centuries-old tale into a current-day fiction novel and binding the two together is simply superbly done. Sealskin is boldly written, brilliantly told and a tale of legendary proportions’ JM Hewitt

‘Sealskin is a magical and moral tale woven with a deft hand’ Sara MacDonald

‘Sealskin is a tender, moving and gentle read. Whilst there is an obvious magical feel to it, it’s so well written that it becomes almost believable. It’s a really lovely story and one which I think will stay with me’ New Books Magazine

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