by Kate Brallier

March 2005
ISBN: 0-765-34892-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Tor Books
Mass Market Paperback

The legend of selkies has teased and intrigued us for centuries. Kate Brallier has brought a fresh touch to the legends and given us an entertaining read as well in her debut novel Seal Island.

Everyone would love a chance to start over again in a new city with a new life. Cecilia Hargrave finds she’s being given that chance. When Allegra Gordon leaves her a house and a business on Seal Island in Maine, Cecil decides to see what living there will be like. With no job or apartment, she has nothing to lose.

Amazingly, she finds she enjoys the small town and the people who live there. She finds happiness in running her own business. Slowly, she begins to make a place for herself and the friends she has make her feel like a part of the town. Then there are the men. Tom Moneghan is a fisherman Cecil meets on Seal Island. He’s mysterious and handsome, just the right combination to spark her interest. Yet she gets the feeling he knows more than he’s willing to tell. Ronan Grey is the mechanic at the local gas station. Young and stunningly good-looking, there seems to be a hint of feyness about him. She can’t help but be intrigued by him.

The dark secrets regarding Allegra’s passing swirl around Cecil as she tries to start a different life. The strange undercurrents in the town along with the odd behavior of the seals that hang around her beach makes her determined to find the truth. She might be lucky enough to find love as she takes her journey.

Kate Brallier has done a great job in bringing to life the legends of the selkie, those strange seals who can turn into humans. For centuries, fishermen have told tales about the selkies as they came in from the sea. In Seal Island, we meet a woman searching for her true place in life. By the end, she learns the lesson that any place is perfect if you’re happy with yourself. Cecil grows up in this story as she finds love and adventure. Both Tom and Ronan are fittingly mysterious and handsome. Ms. Brallier has created some unforgettable characters, even the seals become real.

Pick up Seal Island and settle down for a satisfying afternoon of Maine hospitality and Scottish legend.

Reviewed in February 2005 by Jenni.

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