Synopses & Reviews
ELIN JEAN HAS always known she was different from the others on their remote island home. She is a gentle soul, and cant stand the annual tradition of killing seal babies to thin the population. Even Tam McCodron, the gypsy boy to whom she is strangely drawn, seems to belong more than she does.
Its just a matter of time until Elin Jean discovers the secret of her past: her mother, Margaret, is a selkie, held captive by her smitten father, who has kept Margarets precious seal pelt hostage for 16 years. Soon Elin Jean faces a choice about whether to free her mother from her island prison. And, as the child of this unusual union, she must make another decision. Part land, part sea, she must explore both worlds and dig deep inside herself to figure out where she belongs, and where her future lies.
Poignant, meaningful, and romantic, Selkie Girl is a lyrical debut about a mesmerizing legend.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Cornwell's themes of body image, abuse, and the danger and pleasure found in relationships of all kinds emerge organically through the book's visceral, disturbing, and often lovely imagery."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[A] graceful debut novel. . . The narrative shimmers and haunts, and will appeal to readers who don't typically like fantasy."
"Cornwell seamlessly weaves together three distinctive narrative voices to tell a completely original story. . . [Tides] offers a valuable message of acceptance."
—VOYA, 4Q 3P J S
"A satisfying mix of folktale, mystery, and family drama, this eerie story will leave readers with the distinct impression that Gemm's island home has a bottomless supply of heartbreaking tales of love and loss."
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A haunting, atmospheric, intergenerational tale of the "inbetween," suffused with selkie lore."
"Subtle themes of turning weakness into strength and threaded throughout the story and ultimately create a nuanced debut novel. . . . An insightful and compelling work."
—School Library Journal
"Longing for the beyond vies with the deep bonds of love, home, and family in Betsy Cornwell's dreamlike and heart-wrenching novel, and her fresh, delicate lyricism conveys her characters' struggles with compelling power. A truly beautiful debut!"
—Sarah Porter, author of the Lost Voices trilogy
“Tides is a rich, taut, suspenseful, and funny exploration of two worlds, selkie and human. It's full of mystery but it's also so fully imagined that a reader can jump right in. Betsy Cornwell is a terrific new talent with a boundless imagination.”
—Valerie Sayers, author of Who Do You Love and Brain Fever
Poignant, meaningful, and romantic, "Selkie Girl" is a lyrical debut about a mesmerizing legend and a young girl who learns the truth about her mother and her own past.
Set on the Isles of Shoals, remote islands off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire, this page-turning YA debut weaves the Celtic ocean lore of selkies and a compelling mystery into a story about family secrets and love.
When high school senior Noah Gallagher and his adopted teenage sister, Lo, go to live with their grandmother in her island cottage for the summer, they dont expect much in the way of adventure. Noah has landed a marine biology internship, and Lo wants to draw and paint, perhaps even to vanquish her struggles with bulimia. But then things take a dramatic turn for them both when Noah mistakenly tries to save a mysterious girl from drowning. This dreamlike, suspenseful story—deftly told from multiple points of view—dives deeply into selkie folklore while examining the fluid nature of love and family.
About the Author
Laurie Brooks is a playwright whose work includes The Wrestling Season,
a young adult play. This is her first novel. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
From the Hardcover edition.