ELIN JEAN HAS always known she was different from the others on their remote island home. She is a gentle soul, and can’t stand the annual tradition of killing seal babies to thin the population. Even Tam McCodron, the gypsy boy to whom she is strangely drawn, seems to belong more than she does.
It’s just a matter of time until Elin Jean discovers the secret of her past: her mother, Margaret, is a selkie, held captive by her smitten father, who has kept Margaret’s precious seal pelt hostage for 16 years. Soon Elin Jean faces a choice about whether to free her mother from her island prison. And, as the child of this unusual union, she must make another decision. Part land, part sea, she must explore both worlds and dig deep inside herself to figure out where she belongs, and where her future lies.
Poignant, meaningful, and romantic, Selkie Girl is a lyrical debut about a mesmerizing legend.
This is the type of book I like to rant and rave over... Normally. Selkie Girl was picked up on a whim because lets face it the cover is attractive. The colours pulled me in and the premise on which it was written sounded interesting enough to justify buying it. Although I did end up enjoying this one we had a really rough start. *Gasp* I know. How could an attractive cover like this give me trouble for almost half a book and then redeem itself. Well read on and find out.
Selkie Girl/Elin Jean has always felt out of place while growing up and I can't blame her. With webbed hands and cruel children who would feel that they fit. Not to mention the fact that she hates the Seal Cull that everyone else seems to accept. Elin is really just a passionate and confused girl. Her heart tells her so many things that no one way is really right for her. Her passion and determination somehow fail me though. Elin Jean gets what she want and discovers her background only to decide that she doesn't really belong there either. It seemed the for quite awhile that this book was going to go in a vicious cycle of going somewhere only to just run the same circles somewhere else.
There was some minor romance thrown in with everything else. Tam is a gypsy and to be honest not the most likely candidate for Elin Jean's love interest but he is. I thought he was cute but almost as lost as her. However once he decides that he wants something he sticks with it and doesn't sway. He even goes so far as to keep a promise when Elin Jean doesn't keep hers. I would like to have seen a little more show of affection from Elin but in another way I appreciate that the entire book wasn't written around an unlikely romance.
I didn't dislike this book by any means but it didn't exactly capture me either. This problem mostly lay in the thickness of the tradition of where the book takes place. Yet the entire read I never really got a feel for where this place was or what it was really like. I know that it takes place on the Orkney Islands and that they are Scottish islands but I didn't get much beyond that. I even tried to look up more of their lore so that maybe I could understand a little better.
Although this book was unique in many ways it had more ups and downs for me. I wish that I could say more but in the end I was not really satisfied but I wasn't empty either. I just feel like maybe there is so much that could have been done and yet there was so much done. The repetitive nature of Elin Jeans nature did a lot to slow the story down for me as well. I think that this book would be perfect for someone that knew more about the islands that this takes place on or more about the Scottish Selkie lore.