The Brides of Rollrock Island

Margo Lanagan, Author
Margo Lanagan. Knopf, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-375-86919-8
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 09/11/2012
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4464-7844-8
Library Binding - 305 pages - 978-0-375-96919-5
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-299-08733-0
Paperback - 305 pages - 978-0-375-87336-2
Open Ebook - 158 pages - 978-0-375-98930-8
Hardcover - 306 pages - 978-0-85756-033-9
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In this powerful but grim tale set on a rugged, windswept island, an unlovely, embittered young woman discovers that she can magically pull human beings out of seals: “I drew each speck toward and into the man-shape at his center. A head-blur parted from the body-blur; some limbs came good, splitting from the main shine. Then suddenly the man’s outline sharpened within the seal.” She uses this power first to find herself a lover and then to take revenge on the people of Rollrock Island, who she believes have slighted her, providing each man with a supernaturally beautiful seal-woman (for a price). Decades later, the jilted human women have all left the island, leaving the spell-struck men with their captive wives, who cannot always hide their yearning for the sea. Lanagan (Tender Morsels) casts the traditional selkie tale in a poetic yet deeply antiromantic form. What, she asks, would such a relationship truly be like? How might it satisfy, but also destroy those involved? A beautifully written story featuring a thoroughly realized setting and cast. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)
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