Donald is a fisherman on the West Coast of Scotland, in a village where fishing is at the heart of the community. One night whilst out on the sea Donald witnesses a magical event; the Selkies coming ashore, and he does the unthinkable. The repurcussions of his actions not only effect him but also the residents of the village. Can something good come out of an act of violence and can Donald put things right again?
This book is the reworking of the classic Selkie legend. It has all the magical and etherial quality of a folk tale mixed with the reality of life in a small, isolated fishing village. There is no given time in which this story is set which adds to the magic of the tale; this story could be past, present or future and it would deal with the same issues of prejudice, violence, rape and distrust of anything new. These issues give a stark contrast to the otherworldly brought to the village by Maihri.
It is a beautifully written book with a cast of characters that cover all the traits of humanity that you would expect in a close knit community; the large family, the loner, the single elderly aunt, the priest, the damaged family, the gossiping matriarch. My only complaint is that the chapters are very short which stopped the flow of the prose in places. Apart from that I loved this book, it is a fairytale for adults and a story I was sad to finish. It gives a real sense of hope, that the unfamiliar can become familiar, and places emphasis on the sense of community, and the importance of forgiveness and family.
This is a truly beautiful book that will enchant and captivate you.