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READ KINDLE × Sea Hearts á Why Would I People Are Uneasy Enough With Me If I Start Bringing Up Sea Wives, They Ll Take Against Me Good And Proper It Could Be Secret Could It On Remote Rollrock Island, The Sea Witch Misskaella Discovers She Can Draw A Girl From The Heart Of A Seal So, For A Price, Any Man Might Buy Himself A Bride An Irresistibly Enchanting Sea Wife But What Cost Will Be Borne By The People Of Rollrock The Men, The Women, The Children Once Misskaella Sets Her Heart On Doing Such A Thing Margo Lanagan Weaves An Extraordinary Tale Of Desire And Revenge, Of Loyalty, Heartache And Human Weakness, And Of The Unforeseen Consequences Of All Consuming Love This is my first Lanagan but by no means will it be my last From the very words chosen to the way they d been woven together, the feel of this is long and lush, dense and at times too much Everything is so specifically and skillfully put together, that I felt the moody, dark and yes, sometimes even disturbing tone just propelled me forward I ve come away with characters that cannot help but be well realised Better yet, those seven voices each building upon what s last been said serve up stories that are so clearly depicted that the choices made whether hard or sad or questionable were simply decisions, but the people quite simply are who they are People. Never obvious than with Miskaella and Daniel, where Misakaela s tale starts from sad girl to feared woman, her choices are not as disturbing and they were given the background laid down of her or the painful story of of Daniel and his mother, when at last the wrongness of what s been done is voiced out Of course, set in a place time that s two things at once, reading this was quite the experience for me The place is a bit unclear given the oddness and strangeness mixed in what could be A sea witch calling forth sea wives for men of Rollrock Island, red wives leaving, sea wives staying, so that what s initially odd becomes less odd and only to later become what is It s disturbing and dark, but genuine and though provoking a woman s place, a man s choice, a son s duty, a mother s love, but at the core are the people and the choices each made and then later still the consequences of all those Surprisingly, with each of the seven building on what s been said, there s an ending that s haunting, leaving me only questions a fact that is not necessarily a negative 5 5 Just know that if I could give BRIDES stars than a 5, I would Rollrock is a lonely island of cliffs and storms, blunt fishermen and their fierce wives Life is hard for the families who must wring a poor living from the stormy seas But Rollrock is also a place of magic When I read and adored Kirsty Logan s The Gloaming, my dear friend Marina recommended Margo Lanagan s The Brides of Rollrock Islandbecause she knows how much I love myths, islands, and selkies I can honestly say one time that Marina knows me frighteningly well If you love island communities, the Scottish landscape, myths and tales, witches, weird births, seals and selkies or if you just need to read a quality tale, then you need this book in your life.In an island that definitely resembles the Scottish Hebrides, a community is torn asunder by Misskaella s abilities to turn seals into beautiful, alluring, seemingly docile young women Families and relationships are turned upside down This is Misskaella s way of exacting revenge for years of contempt and abuse, even from her own mother She demonstrates the evil, the hypocrisy, and ruthlessness of men, their willingness to put everything at risk because of an itchThe north road swung up over the cliff almost gaily, and we walked it up into the teeth of the wind, and it battered our hair and flapped our coat collars The sea on our left tossed moon twinkles about, rushed and smashed at the cliffs, drummed in the road underfoot Lanagan makes excellent use of the fairytales of the sea and the legends of the islands, focusing on the beloved myth of the selkie women However, she develops the famous story and takes it one step further, in a brilliant twist of the age old legend Further, she brings the children of the selkie wives out of obscurity and gives them the chance to express their feelings of belonging to two worlds that are so close and so far away Where do they belong What is it that makes an island community so harsh and unforgiving What happens when the laws of nature and its balance are violated because of men s desires and endless ego Lanagan s writing is excellent She depicts the language of the islanders and the younger members of the community faithfully and vividly, the dialogue is flowing and natural There are many beautiful descriptions of the island at night, the community of the seals, the fishing villages, the harsh domestic life as a responsibility of the resilient mams There were quite a few moments that reminded me of Logan s The Gloamingand this is the highest compliment for Lanagan s beautiful novel.The jewel of the story is Misskaella, a heroine that will stay with you She is such an interesting character, so fierce and proud The way she copes with her awful family and the heathens that surround her with their notions of propriety and their superstitions I believe every thinking girl will find herself connected to her She is the Witch, the Other , the one who doesn t comply, the one who rebels The Brides of Rollrock Island is a novel rich in beautiful imagery, themes that require our attention as it happens in every well written tale and a main character that you will loveComplain It s only noiseMarina, I can t thank you enough for this gem Hvala ti If I didn t get that right, someone will find himself in trouble My reviews can also be found on If you have any expectations of what this book will be like based on the cover, throw them away. You won t find a dreamy, romantic, fairy tale retelling here It s like this type of crazy business going onRecipe for a twisted, dark fairy tale 1 One crazy witch2 Stupid men who think with the wrong head3 Seals I m being serious, the actual sea creatures 4 Blank eyed women who are willing to serve their men Stepford Wife style Confused yetTrust me, I was confused for the first couple of chapters Once I started figuring out what was going on, I found myself disturbingly aroused uh scared uh interested Basically, this nasty, crazy witch woman can call up seals and cut them open These seals then pop out these extremely sensual looking women who are willing to cling to the first person they see bond with Yes, it s like mail order brides, except of a local affair Needless to say, the men were ALL over this trend Islander number 1 Hey Frank, you got your hot seal wife yet Mine cooks me dinner every night before doing the naked tango with me Islander number 2 Nah The dumb witch wants money than I can afford I m putting in extra hours down at the docks so I can get me a slave soon Think there s a catch Of course there is That s where the story takes a turn.I loved this book but I can honestly say that it won t be for everyone It does take a couple of chapters to get to the point where you feel sucked in Because of the confusing and almost dreary start, I could see how some people are going to jump ship before the story gets to a point where you want to keep going because you re bizarrely fascinated with this twisted, beautiful, and disturbing world I was glad that I stuck with Brides of Rollrock Island because I love books that stray outside of the realm of normal Anything that isn t cookie cutter tends to earn extra marks from me.This author is shelved as YA but I found this book to read like an Adult historical fic w a sprinkling of magical realism Basically, a modern albeit dark and grown up fairy tale. There s no question in my mind that this book is brilliantly written I ve been consistently impressed and moved by Margo Lanagan s prose since my first experience with her work a few years ago and this book does not disappoint in that regard However, and this will actually be a positive for many readers this book is far tame and accessible than Tender Morsels It s even accessible than the short story of hers that I read in Zombies vs Unicorns last year And that s not to say that this book is all softness and happiness and rainbows far from it But compared to the other two works of hers that I ve read, this one just isn t as traumatizing As I said, this will actually be a positive for many readers I would definitely suggest this book for anyone who wants to give Margo Lanagan a try without being overwhelmed This is the book you should start with However, as someone who loves her darker and gruesome side, I actually really missed the shock factor that I ve come to expect from her I loved this book quite a lot, but I know that it won t linger in my mind quite as much as Tender Morsels still does This book is absolutely brilliant though, both in its poetic beauty and in its technical precision She is one of the few authors I know of who seems to marry those two elements effortlessly I appreciate both although I think maybe I have a slight preference for poetic beauty over technical precision but when I see them come together in one work of art, it never fails to leave me in awe Not only does she seamlessly connect six different narrators, she tells this story in a sort of spiraling timeline She starts in the middle, moves to the beginning, and then moves through the start to reach the end In a less skilled author s hands, all of these narrators and the shifting timeline could easily become a huge mess But she makes it feel absolutely perfect like the only way this story could possibly be told.I don t typically enjoy reading through a whole cast of narrators, but Margo Lanagan makes me love it Her stories are handed off from one pair of eyes to another, like a relay, and the result is an incredibly three dimensional view We get to see through the eyes of young Misskaella, a girl with a power that she doesn t understand, but that seems to scare or disgust everyone on the small island where she lives As she grows and even her family seems to wish she were never born, as her isolation and bitterness increase, it becomes easier to see why she would want to punish them all From within the soft, blubbery bodies of female seals, she pulls forth girls tall, pale, graceful, and biddable girls Girls who seem to bewitch every single man on the island Through the span of decades, she changes the entire face of the island, effectively removing it from the modern world and isolating everyone who chooses to stay The torch of narration is passed through the wives and children of these men, who are cast aside to the men themselves, who are hopelessly lost to the selkie brides to the children born of these new marriages and finally back into Misskaella s life through the eyes of her apprentice.I fell so hard into each one of these different characters that it was sometimes hard to move on But it was exciting too like having my firmly held beliefs proven wrong over and over again Am I the only one who really enjoys that The only small gripe I have is that I wish she had included a selkie bride as one of the narrators It sort of happens with Daniel Mallett, the son of one of these women, but not completely I really wonder why she chose not to include that point of view.Her writing is just absolutely stunning though For example this passage, which is about giving up a child for his own well beingAll the years to come crowded into that time, and I lived them, long and bitter and empty of him The rightness of what I had done, and the wrongness both, they tore at me, and repaired me, and tore again, and neither of them was bearable I have never gone through that courageous and painful act, but she made me feel as if I had.Perfect Musical PairingThe Cranberries Dreaming My DreamsWhenever I listen to this song, I think about my children growing up and heading out into the world and leaving me behind And I feel such a mix of emotions pride, grief, desperation to hold onto their little selves, eagerness to prepare them for adulthood I think that the old clich is right one of the truest tests of love for another person is the ability to let him or her go And I think that it s interesting that in The Brides of Rollrock Island, it is the villain who is able to let her loves go, while her victims can t seem to They are so desperate to hold on to their loves that they strangle the life out of them So this is where I come to the from above After writing this review, I realize that this book left of an impression on me than I originally thought This book is quieter and subdued than Tender Morsels but it still lingers.Also seen on The Readventurer.