The Brides of Rollrock Island
It's more like this type of crazy business going on...
Recipe for a twisted, dark fairy tale :
1. One crazy witch
2. Stupid men who think with the wrong head
3. Seals (I'm being serious, the actual sea creatures)
4. Blank-eyed women who are willing to serve their men Stepford-Wife style.
Confused yet? Trust me, I was confused for the first coupl...more
”Was she beautiful, the sea-maid? Fair strange, Doris had said, and I thought that was a fine assessment.Fair strange. I think that’s a fine assessment of Sea Hearts too: beautiful in, or for, its unusualness.
It’s proving extremely difficult to review Sea Hearts (titled The Brides of Rollrock Island in the US) in isolation, and not hold it up against Lanagan’s previous novel, Tender Morsels. Though I read the latter earlier this year, I still haven’t been able to wrangle my thoughts in...more
If you like the last episode of Twin Peaks, you'll like this book. That's not exactly a good thing. This novel takes 'cerebral' to a whole other degree.
First off there's a difference between throwing your reader into a novel's world no holds-bar and throwing a reader into a world and not caring if they understand what on earth is going on. Only half way through the book will you...more
Too good to be true, surely. It sounded like e...more
Miskaella was born looking different from the other girls on Rockroll is...more
When he was younger he had never noticed the obvious, how all the mams on the island were the...more
While I may have struggled with the writing style, I still thought this was beautifully told. Margo Lanagan has a way she set this story. It reads like a mythical fairy tale. It's whimsical, vibrant and almost poetic, while it's characters felt haunting, fierce and achingly real. But with that said, I have to admit, I still struggled with the way this was told. I'm usually...more
Don't be surprised if you see plenty of people putting this book as DNF as this books takes time. It takes time to feel its magic and get into the story. Luckily for me they are my favorite type. Also luckily for you because I'll try to make you read it and experience the real magic.
Everything starts in Rollrock Island, a very lonely place where most of the people are fisherman and they're pretty much cut out off from the outside world. They...more
The concept, although reminding me strongly of Stepford Wives, was made unique by the almost fairytale-like aspects to it. And the way it was told left me constantly wanting to know what happened next - which is why I flew through reading this in about three days. The way it is written is just beautiful too; descriptive, without being heavy...more
I discovered Tender Morsels last year and that was another powerful display of skill, this time in novel form.
Sea Hearts continues this showcasing of her skill, with language and narrative. Reading Lanagan is like watching the world through aged glass. The world and its characters are identifiable but there is...more
‘But I really don’t like short stories,’ I said.
‘You’ll like these,’ he answered. And he was right. One of the stories in particular really haunted me – ‘Singing My Sister Down’ was a strange, dark, heartbreaking and yet beautiful story which recounts the last hours in the life of a young woman condemned to death by dr...more
I’ll say this right from the start: I had one of the strangest reading experiences ever with The Brides of Rollrock Island. I can’t even summarize the book adequately. There’s a woman who can weave a very special sort of magic that transforms seals into beautiful human women for any man who fancies a “sea-wife” and is willing to pay. Yes, this novel is a take on selkie lore, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also about love, loss, and revenge. And I...more
This book isn't as difficult or challenging, emotionally, as Tender Morsels--or in structure, either. But it is engrossing and rewarding, and for all its "lyrical"ness, moves quickly without obfuscating. Each narrator in turn endeared him- or herself to me, so that I hated to leave each one behind, but quickly got caught up in the new one.
One thing that puzzles me, that I'd have to pay attention to on a reread: I had thought the book was...more
I realise that Lanagan has crafted this novel. All novels are edited and rewritten. But the language is so unique and feels raw. There's no other way to describe the waves of the l...more
But unfortunately, the author, I believe, did not do a good job explaining the plot. Usually I am a huge fan of multiple character POVs in a book, but in this one, it was way too confusing. It was the present, the past, the future, the past, the future, the present, and back again. I was very lost at times. I also didn't know who was speaking, yes, the name was said in the beginning, but I had n...more
In answer, Lanagan created Misskaela, the half-Selkie, half-human "witch" who sings the Selkies - as women - into being. The structure of the novel is episodic, a series of short stories or fragments rather than a novel, and portrays various points of view over several generations with Misskaela's story at its core...more
For a more in depth discussion of Sea Hearts, please li...more
I read The Brides of Rollrock Island waaayyy back in August. Originally this book was supposed to be a readalong with my blogger friends Jen at Jen Ryland/ YA Romantics and Heidi at Bunbury in the Stacks. But a tropical storm got in the way of things, I lost power and all that stuff, and the three of us ended up reading at separate times. We did have a little email discussion afterwards and they both wrote stellar reviews of the book.
I have a h...more
So, I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for the legend of the selkie, and also I love books which take myths and legends and get inside them like a hand inside a glove, bringing them to life. Margo Lanagan’s ‘The Brides of Rollrock Island’ is a book like that, a book which explores what it would be like to live on an island where ‘s...more
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 R...more
|Sci-fi and Heroic...: 2013 Ditmar Award Winners announced||2||14||May 03, 2013 05:37AM|
|The Stella Prize ...: Sea Hearts review||2||3||Apr 07, 2013 05:20PM|
|YA e dintorni: The brides of Rollrock island||85||31||Mar 04, 2013 01:16AM|
|Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Picks: The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan||4||13||Nov 13, 2012 07:19PM|
|Sno-Isle Mock Printz: * (Our) 2013 Honor Book: The Brides of Rollrock Island||2||9||Oct 30, 2012 06:54PM|
|Mock Printz 2014: Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan||10||63||Oct 14, 2012 11:22AM|
Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom b...more