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Skein Island

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Skein Island, a private refuge twelve miles off the coast, lies in turbulent waters. Few receive the invitation to stay for one week, free of charge. If you are chosen, you must pay for your stay with a story from your past; a Declaration for the Islands vast library.

What happens to your Declaration after you leave the island is none of your concern.

From the monsters of
Paperback, 200 pages
Published March 30th 2015 by Dog Horn Publishing
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  99 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Missy (myweereads)
They are all born with the seed within them to become one of four things. And now those seeds are growing.

Skein Island by Aliya Whiteley is about a private refuge twelve miles off the coast of Decon. Few receive the invitation to stay for one week, free of charge. If you are chosen, you must pay for your stay with a story from your past: a Declaration for the Islands vast library. What happens to your Declaration after you leave the island is not your concern. Powerful and disturbing, it is a
Britta Böhler
Not quite my cup of tea.
Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
SKEIN ISLAND was fascinating!!

The story follows Marianne who goes to the private, women's refuge known as Skein Island to try to understand why years ago her mother left her to go there and never returned. Only she finds much more than she bargained for; an old lady, a statue (that may be an ancient and powerful Greek Goddess) and a scary story!

She heads off the island retreat after being assaulted at her library job, leaving behind her confused husband. She doesn't understand that "when things
Todd Burnett
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Definitely a book for fans of girlie mythological-fantasy, though due to some scenes of graphic violence and adult situations, this is a book for 18+ readers only.

I must admit, I was expecting a bit more of the Greek mythological influence on this from having read the back cover, but Skein Island was well written, well paced with believable characters and a decent, if slightly predictable, plot.

There were two or three minor editing errors, but otherwise the story was neatly presented in sections
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Whiteley is now very much in the league of my favourite authors. I love the way stories start as one thing and morph into something else and at the same time explore being human. This a a delightful puzzle made of stories about stories and is damn hard to review when all I want to do is just say read this

Full review (ish)
Callum McLaughlin
First, I should point out that I loved The Beauty by Whiteley, and so went into this with very high expectations. Whilst this didn't enthral me as the former did, I still found it rich and fascinating, particularly from a thematic point of view.

Though they are very different in terms of plot, the two novels do in fact explore the same major themes, both of which I adore when handled well: gender roles and storytelling. In this case, the eponymous Skein Island has long served as a safe space and
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another really excellent novella by Aliya Whitely. I think this would make a great pairing with Wilder Girls as both are fantastical explorations of female friendship. The novella takes place on Skein Island, a mysterious island that hosts retreats for seven women for seven days at a time. The main character receives an invitation to the island for a retreat that she never applied for and retraces the footsteps of her mother who vanished from her life after going on a retreat there herself. ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Skein Island has a fantastic premise - an isolated island retreat, only open to woman for a single stay of one week, with a single requirement:
leave behind a declaration, a story of who you were or are. Marianne receives an invitation to stay on the island, despite not applying, and leaves everything behind in the hope of discovering more information about the mother who left for Skein years before, and never came back home.

Unfortunately, I found the execution of this promising premise clumsy
Kallie (pageandparlor) Lou Weisgarber
Skein Island is a privately owned island off the coast of Decon. No men are allowed to step foot on the island and women cant go unless they are invited for a week long refuge from their normal lives. The only thing youre required to do once youre on the island is to write out your declaration. Your declaration, a story from your past, will be put into the islands library and kept there long after your departure. But what is done with them after youve left? And why are no men allowed on the ...more
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am sure I will do a horrendous job of explaining why I gave this five stars, so there is that to know. I will likely go on about things that I thought while reading this book, and things I am thinking now, and probably things I have thought about for a long time before I even heard of this book. Honestly, this book was hard to read. Hard to read for its prose styling, for one. I love Whiteley's writing, but this jumped around a lot and threw in a lot of dialogue for the thinking bits, and I ...more
Ross Jeffery
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Skein Island is a fricking masterpiece.

Right now Ive got that out of the way we can continue; so, Skein Island is the next novel from Aliya Whiteley, and its an old novel, which has been repurposed and republished by Titan Books and I for one am so very thankful that this has happened I had no idea the novel had previously existed. It was originally published in 2015 by a small press called Dog Horn Press Im unsure of how successful Skein Island was at its original release, as Id never heard
Ellis (whatellisreadnext)
'Every woman deserves at least a few chapters of her own in the story of her life.'
Skein Island is a women's retreat located just off the coast of Devon. Each woman must pay for her stay with a story from her past. Marianne gets an invitation from a woman who is long dead and feels the need to investigate. She is unaware what the stories are used for until it is too late😯
It's really hard to put this book into words, I'll start off by saying, it wasn't what I was expecting at all. It is weird
John Rennie
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is an interesting book and I'm quite pleased I read it, but it wasn't an engrossing book. I never experienced that "just one more chapter" feeling that I get with books that really captivate me.

The reason I felt this way is that this is a book with some points to make. I don't want to go into detail because I don't want to prejudice your interpretation of the book, but my interpretation is that Whiteley is criticising the way that male dominated societies view women. It's a fair
Dec 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, sf
Aliya Whiteley has a knack for writing strange little books full of big ideas, specifically ideas about gender roles. The Beauty was beautiful and strange and disconcerting, but in a fascinating way. Skein Island is too, though it's a little more straight-forward and less weird. While there's no fungi to deal with, there are rooms full of stories and a statue that consume them. There are men trying to figure out what it means to be men, and women wondering what it means to tell their own ...more
David Harris
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm grateful to Titan Books for a free copy of Skein Island to consider for review.

As a blogger it's easy to get a bit formulaic in your reviews. Plot précis. What the book meant to you. Some pithy quotes. A bit about the author's previous work and perhaps wider context. Summing up.

In the case of Skein Island, I can't do that and not just because - bad David! - I hadn't read any Whiteley before (that's something I'll have to fix). No. There's something about this book that is different. It's not
S.E. Anderson
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Admittedly, it has this strange feel to it, though I cant quite put my finger in what makes it so. But despite this, or maybe because of it, I loved this book. It takes a fascinating look at the powers of myth, and the Ancient Hero, and the women who are key to his story - yet not allowed to be the master of theirs. Highly recommended for fans of Circe! ...more
Jacquie Harnett
Feb 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
Nope -I would not recommend this one at all.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mythology, science fiction and feminism lit all set in an industrial british town.
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I would like to thank Titan books for providing me with a copy of Skein Island for review. Skein Island has honestly left me lost for words, in a good way, but Im struggling with where to start with my review I think I need to start by understanding that this book is far, far more than the blurb suggests. From the start this reads as edgy womens fiction, but then quickly develops into magical realism with a thriller slant. Its utterly compelling and I kept finding myself returning to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2016, x-owned
NOTE: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

(I took WAY too long to post it, though, and for that I am sorry)

Why did I read this book? Because if youve written one of my favorite books (and Aliya Whiteleys The Beauty IS one of my favorite books), youre stuck with me for life. I will follow your career and read every single one of your books. Maybe not right away, but I will eventually. I wont even ask what theyre about, Ill just go for it. Whatever. I trust you
*I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion.

From the synopsis alone, I knew that this was going to be a very unique story. It had elements that intrigued me, such as the mention of mythology and the fact that the Island was a sanctuary for women only. There were quite a few aspects mentioned in the synopsis though and I wanted to see how everything came together. Unfortunately, I don't think that I really got that moment of harmony, which was a
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
Skein Island is an exploration of what it is to be human. The imbalances between men and women and our roles in society.

Its weird and wonderful and powerfully written. This is my first book by Aliya Whiteley and I enjoyed her writing. She is very good at creating a mood. There are some darker aspects to the story which were handled well and the story stayed in my mind for a long time after I finished it.

I will say that toward the end it became a little confusing at times and I had to work hard
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of Skein Island for free from goodreads first reads giveaway.

This was not at all what I was expecting when I entered the giveaway for this book, I'm not sure what I was expecting but it certainly wasn't this. The story starts off normally enough but things soon get weird and unpredictable, which makes a novel change. I'm not sure I would call this book enjoyable but it is very readable especially for women. I don't mean to imply that this is "chic-lit", far from it but I just
The way she describes emotions and thoughts of the characters is unlike any Ive read before and reading it from the characters point of view really makes it visceral and just really powerful.
Im a lover of history and seeing it incorporated in this book the way it was was so enjoyable to read
I highly recommend this book, its really one that makes you think which is something that I really want to read in more books going forward with the different types books I choose to read, rather than
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Once Id read Skein Island, I could not forget it. It drew me into its characters, its handling of thought and landscape, its twisting conceits that spoke to me of roleplaying games and mythology and all the ways in which to love and mistrust the stories we tell ourselves and the people telling the stories.

I've posted my full review here -
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book, really gave me a lot to think about.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rounded from 4.5 stars review to come soon
Sarah Lindahl
rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2020
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