Sarah Laing's Reviews > Sea Hearts

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan
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's review
Feb 25, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

I love Margo Lanagan's writing - her incredible imagination, and the beauty of her language. THere were things I particularly liked about this book - the characterisation of the sea witch, the erotic scene of the witch summoning a man from the bull seal, the way she knitted together an enchanting woman from the sparkling heart of a seal. I also was moved by the tragedy of her having to give her half-seal son back to the sea, and the seal women having to give back their daughters. I wasn't so sure about the multiple POV - in some ways the voices sounded the same, and I found it difficult to move between the characters. By the time I got to the final section, I no longer had the energy to engage with someone new. The 'bab' and 'mam' slightly grated on me too - it was a Scottish-style island, but why couldn't it have been a south pacific one? To me it seemed like an affectation - but that's just a niggle - over all it was a fine and intoxicating book.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Rachael (new)

Rachael I guess it's a Scottish-style island because that is traditionally where the selkie legend is from. Didn't Tender Morsels have a similar location/feel? (I haven't read Seahearts yet, but will soon! Wanted to get my book done and dusted)

Sarah Laing Yes, you're right - after I wrote that I read that it was based on the Scottish/Scandinavian myth, just like Tender Morsels was based on Briar Rose (or was it Snow white and Rose Red? Can't keep track!) There was a bit of shape-shifting in that too - obviously a theme of hers!

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