julian_griffith: (Default)
I loved this book.

I've loved Catt [livejournal.com profile] kingsgrave 's writing for a number of years now, and "lesbian selkie historical novella" had me at "selkie". I bought it as soon as it came out, but it sat in my to-read queue for a while, because of writing and research-reading that took priority.

The lead character, Mairead, is strong and capable while still having to deal with the limitations and challenges of being a woman who's attracted to women, during World War II, in a place as isolated as Orkney. She's very sympathetic, while still having plenty of rough edges to her character.

The selkie element is handled beautifully. It's matter-of-fact without taking away the mystery or fantasy of it; it's got a similar tone to The Secret of Roan Inish. Mairead and some of the other characters don't need to believe anything but the evidence of their own eyes, but you get the sense that other characters would dismiss it as mere fancy and legend, and that, to my taste, is exactly as it should be.

The eroticism is powerful, neither too flowery or too crude, just HOT.

I spotted the... should I call it a plot twist, or a secret, or what? Anyway, I spotted it well before the overt reveal, but that didn't detract at all for me; it seemed reasonable that I, standing outside the story, could pick it up, but that Mairead wouldn't consider it until she was confronted with it. And the way she reacted felt true and right.

And the ending was just what I'd hoped.

I could wish that this was a full-length novel, but not because I feel that anything was missing. I'd just have liked to spend more time in that world.

I can tell that this is a story I'll be reading again. 

Buy it here: One Saved To The Sea

August 2013

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