Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Sea Hearts

'Sea Hearts' by Margo Lanagan is an eerie, unusual and brilliantly evocative novel for upper teens.

The setting for Sea Hearts is Roll Rock Island; a harsh, wind swept place.

The story follows the progress of Misskaella. From an early age it is clear that Misskaella is different from her siblings. Her abrasive grandmother says 'I don't like the look of her. She's a bit slanted, a bit mixed.'...'She harks back, I tell you.'

As the story continues, Misskaella's gift becomes clear. She has a special affinity with seals and has the ability to 'magic' a woman from a seal.

These beautiful and docile sea-women become wives for the men of the island...for a price. And as a result, Misskaella holds incredible power and becomes wealthier and wealthier.

Always an outsider, Misskaella becomes vengeful, realising that there will be ramifications and repercussions of an island inhabited by seal-women and their descendants.

Sea Hearts draws on legends of the selkies from Scotland and Ireland.

Lanagan's writing is extroardinary and vivid.


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