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Eelgrass

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3.9  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In Eelgrass, a lesbian reimagining of Irish folktales, Efa and Bettan spend their days roving the sea and shore. The other selkies in their village say it will soon be time for them to settle down and find husbands. Then Bettan disappears into a rainstorm. Despite the other villagers’ reassurances, Efa can't shake the certainty her friend’s been taken.


To rescue Bettan, sh
...more
Kindle Edition, 279 pages
Published September 16th 2016
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Bellamy
Nov 21, 2017 rated it liked it

This book was November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by @sapphicliterature.

I don't know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it succeeded in captivating me with the plot, getting me invested in the characters, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. On the other hand, it was hideously stressful to read and I was upset at most of the characters for about 80% of it. I can't decide if I want to give it a two or a four, so I'm going with an uncomfortable 3/5 stars.

The main characte
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BadassCmd
This book was provided for free as the November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by sapphicliterature

Eelgrass is a kind of book I haven't read before, so I was looking foward to it. The mythology surrounding selkies is fascinating and I really liked that Tori Curtis didn't just stay with the humans and the selkies as characters. She also brought in half-selkies or humans born from selkie+human marriages AND the fishwives, a species similar in some ways and at the same time in contrast to the selk
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Saraih Korber
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it


"This book was November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by @sapphicliterature

So I must say for the selkie genre this is the best one I have read so far. For anyone who reads books about selkies or mermaids, it has this common trope where the creature of the sea falls in love with people on land. But for anyone who knows the lore of selkies, it's often a dark love story. Eelgrass has been described as a story about rape culture and frankly, it's a breath of fresh air. I won't spoil too much of it
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Kayla
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sff, lgbtq, sbc

Eelgrass was provided for free as the Sapphic Book Club's book of the month for November. You can check out the book club here!

I love just about everything about this book. The writing was lovely and evocative and made me feel like I was reading this by the sea (even though it’s autumn and cold and I’m in the Midwest). Curtis knows how to balance the emotional scenes with the more humorous ones, and I never felt bored while reading.

Efa’s friendship with Bettan is central to the story, and even w
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Melanie
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it

This book was November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by @sapphicliterature

Overall I really enjoyed reading Eelgrass! I found the writing style easy to read and the story kept me interested. I think the book was an interesting look at rape culture and patriarchy set in a fantasy world to make a point. So while everyone but Efa's indifference to Bettan's disappearance was frustrating, I think it was a good reflection on some real-world situations that women face. I found Efa's struggle to get pe
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Alexa
This book was November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by @sapphicliterature.



Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Efa and her friend Bettan are both selkies, and after Bettan's seal skin is taken, Efa sets out on a journey to find her friend and rescue her.

I have to admit, I didn't enjoy this book too much. It certainly had its positives - the almost all-female cast and the parts about the sirens were great, but the second half of the book was physically painful to read at some points.

Thing is, this book is
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Shira Glassman
Originally appeared on The Lesbrary. Eelgrass by Tori Curtis is an intimidating book to review because reading it was such a powerful experience that I’m scared of failing to do it justice. It mirrors its protagonist’s span of two worlds — she’s a selkie so both the sea and the shore communities are home — inasmuch as it comfortably straddles Irish historical fantasy and literary fiction (as well as lesfic!) It’s firmly woman-centered; most of the characters are women whose motivation is keeping ...more
Earwen
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lesbian-or-ff
I feel like this either should have been longer and focused more on the sirens or left the sirens off completely (even though I loved them) because they ultimately didn't do all that much that someone else couldn't have done. Especially Afrit, I'm not sure why she even was there. In general the plotlines felt..very disjointed. I think it'd be better if it just focused on the search for Bettan.

(view spoiler)
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Phoenix
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

This book was November's Sapphic Book Club read by @sapphicliterature. This is now one pf my favorite books. The characters are just the right combination of flawed and likable to make them extremely compelling. The worldbuilding is interesting, and while it's a deeply flawed society, the book tends towards the hopeful and determines "we can and will do better than this" rather than the grimdark "the good have no future" that some authors write. Overall it's a realistically optomistic and beauti
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Ewa
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it

This book November's Sapphic Book Club read hosted by @sapphicliterature.

Rating: 3,5


When Bettan gets kidnapped, her best friend Efa is ready to do everything to get her back to safety.


Tori Curtis, with an amazing writing style, throws us into the world of selkies and fishwives. She uses the myth of stealing the selkie's skin as a metaphore for a rape culture. The story does a great work of showing it along with accompanying it heteronormativity; however, it was not explicit enough with condemni

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A.M. Leibowitz
I'm not usually a reader of fantasy, but the plot of this had my attention. It's more folklore than genre fantasy, and this is a well-written novel with an unusual theme. I don't believe I've ever read any lesbian selkie fiction before.

I will admit that I am not the target audience for this novel. I'm long past the age of the main characters, and it's out of my range in terms of preference. However, the writing is so beautiful and the setting so captivating that it hardly mattered. Reading it to
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Alicia Pearson
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
So... How do I describe this book?

The writing is beautiful, careful and yet filled with clever writing and generous amounts of character development. The story unfolds gently, but with enough pace to keep you reading and... if I'm completely honest... I think this could well be one of my favorite books.

The characters, especially the main four (or at least, the ones I follow most), are cleverly described and written in a way that means you really can fall into their world and go with them on th
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Jalyn Ely
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I wasn’t honestly super excited about this book, but I got a free ebook copy through the Sapphic Book Club and had it on my phone so I could read it in waiting rooms and stuff. And overall, I was underwhelmed.

Let’s start with one of the two major positives in the book: Efa. She wasn’t one of the kick-ass leader-type characters that I usually like to read about, but I liked her because I related to her. Like her, I’m usually the quiet sidekick to a more energetic, boisterous, sociable friend; lik
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Cynthia
Dec 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: queer
It could have been okay, it was okay for the most part, but then it had to keep pushing judeo-christian values of marriage and family until the very last words, despite the whole point being that coercing a woman into marriage and to bear children is evil (it never uses the term rape, mind you...).

I never got a clear idea of the era in which this story happens. I'm assuming somewhere around the 50s, when wives are basically maids and mothers, and when a kidnapped and raped and/or beaten wife is
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Kronda
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: queer-fiction
Reading this story was like reading my younger self falling for my modern adult self: a Selkie raised in a very sheltered environment, with supportive-ish parents until she deviates from their expectations, who only hopes to raise a family one day, trying to rescue someone in a similar predicament from being consumed by the system, and meanwhile finding a charming and dangerous Siren with more modern and flexible definitions of love and adventure. If anything, this story is as much about self di ...more
Joe ST
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: recs
this book .... it started and I struggled to read the prose, but I got into it and paused at about halfway, because sleep. so I was looking forward to reading more because the adventure and flirting and is a lot of fun. I don't know why but I feel like it didn't really finish anything. it starts a bunch of cool stories and has a lot of intriguing hooks... it felt like there was a bunch of scenes rather than a full tale. which is somewhat realistic I guess, everyone changes but for all the brief ...more
Nella
Dec 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I really liked the atmosphere; it somehow felt at once very normal and very magical. Historical and mythology mixes well, and Curtis has a timeless type of language that makes apperances of selkies and sirens feel almost everyday normal. I really liked how romantic and platonic love was portrayed as equal, and I also liked how a whole range of different types of women were represented (as well as various predjudices they faced).

Some things felt a bit unnecesary vague though: what was the whole d
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Elizabeth Mallory
This had some beautiful worldbuilding and slow but good setup of characters. The energy never quite gets going--or rather, I never felt fully in the moment as things were happening, like the tension was dampened. I kept reading both because I wanted to know the ending and because I kept waiting for it to pick up speed.

What I enjoyed were the choices made by the protagonist as she decides her fate without violating her basic personality, and how she balanced friendships and lovers. I liked her fi
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Anna
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well-written fantasy takes a very real look at marriages and the unhappy women in them, whether human or selkie, from the perspective of a would-be rescuer who knows she doesn’t understand.
Sinead (Huntress of Diverse Books)
Check out my book blog for more book reviews and other bookish posts!

I received a copy of Eelgras from the publisher’s in exchange for an honest review. As you might know, I really enjoy mermaid and selkie stories, so a story that has both selkies and mermaids sounded just to good to be true. I was also intrigued by the fact that it sounded like the selkie would fall in love with a mermaid, as it’s something different to the common non-human falling in love with a human trope.

This book is #ownvo
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Kaiti
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great first novel and a lovely take on selkies and mermaids!
Sal
rated it it was amazing
Nov 19, 2017
CJ
rated it liked it
Jan 22, 2018
sinnersandsapphics
rated it really liked it
Nov 03, 2017
Halley Darling
rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2018
Karin
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2017
Ashlyn
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2017
Jeremy
rated it it was amazing
Apr 26, 2017
Laura
DNF @ 14%

I’m done, I can’t take it anymore.

This book keeps feeing like it’s excusing the stealing of Bettan’s sealskin as natural and normal, and saying she’ll be happy once she has babies and whatnot. I am not even remotely comfortable with these themes or messages. I haven’t even gotten past the first chapter, and this is the whole of the message I’ve been getting!!

I was really excited for this because I really like the idea of sirens and selkies and the mythology associated with both, but I n
...more
Erica
rated it it was amazing
Nov 02, 2017
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