Review: Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sea Hearts is an amazing take on the Irish legends of selkies – beautiful maidens who shed their skin to live on land. The legend states you have to hide their skin to prevent them returning to the sea. The tale Lanagan weaves through multiple times and perspectives is enthralling.

The reader embarks on a challenging journey with the witch Misskaella, and her choices from a young age when she first discovers her power but also how unloved she is. Lanagan captures the desire and the grief of the Rollrock men who make the choices, balanced with the perspective from a wife and mother who must choose to leave Rollrock Island or accept the seal wives. The reader agonizes with Daniel, the boy child who slowly pieces together the puzzles of the island an the union between seal wives and the men as he faces his mother’s plight.

The price we pay for our desires and the cost of loyatly and love are deftly explored in this narrative where human strength develops in many ways.

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