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The Brides of Rollrock Island

Lanagan, Margo (Book - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Brides of Rollrock Island
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"On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings--and to catch their wives. The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment"--
Authors: Lanagan, Margo, 1960-
Title: The brides of Rollrock Island
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2012.
Edition: 1st American ed.
Characteristics: 305 p. ;,22 cm.
Summary: "On remote Rollrock Island, men go to sea to make their livings--and to catch their wives. The witch Misskaella knows the way of drawing a girl from the heart of a seal, of luring the beauty out of the beast. And for a price a man may buy himself a lovely sea-wife. He may have and hold and keep her. And he will tell himself that he is her master. But from his first look into those wide, questioning, liquid eyes, he will be just as transformed as she. He will be equally ensnared. And the witch will have her true payment"--
ISBN: 0375969195
9780375969195
0375869190
9780375869198
Statement of Responsibility: Margo Lanagan
Subject Headings: Islands Juvenile fiction. Magic Juvenile fiction. Selkies Juvenile fiction. Witches Juvenile fiction. Islands Fiction. Magic Fiction. Selkies Fiction. Witches Fiction.
Genre/Form: Young adult fiction.
Topical Term: Islands
Magic
Selkies
Witches
Islands
Magic
Selkies
Witches
LCCN: 2011047466
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Jun 15, 2014
  • julia_sedai rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was very strange but so captivating. The beginning was a bit slow and confusing but once you get into it, and pay attention to the characters' names (there are a lot of them), it's easier to understand what's going on. The overall plot is really good. I like how she wrote differently for each character's point of view. I recommend this book for older teenagers and adults.

Jun 18, 2013
  • Lizzy17 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The Brides of Rollrock Island was a decent book, but I found that it moved quite slowly. It took a bit of work to get through it. It was a bit confusing because the character point of view switched multiple times. That being said, I quite enjoyed how each character's story was intertwined, leading up to a good conclusion. The book had many beautiful descriptions and its dark tone was intriguing. The story was unlike any other I have read before. This was not a must read book, but it was enjoyable.

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Finally! I thought I'd never finish slogging through this book.
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That's been my one clear, consistent thought while reading The Brides of Rollrock Island, that reading it was a slog. My other feelings are much more ambivalent. I'm a fan of the subject matter, enjoy the dark tone, and recognize her beautiful writing. Yet I found the style of the writing remote and inaccessible, the characters unengaging and difficult to sympathize with. Too much focus on detailed descriptions of mundane surroundings and happenings to create the atmosphere, not enough focus on getting me inside the characters' heads. The only reason I didn't give up on it after the first third of the book was because I want to be able to join in during our Mock Printz discussion; and because I did, for the same reasons, give up after reading the first third of Lanagan's previous book, Tender Morsels, which I'd also heard excellent things about, and I wanted to give at least one of her books a complete consideration.
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In a way, I'm glad I took the time to finish it, since the further I went the more I became pulled into the story and wanted to see how it all worked out, yet reading it remained work to the end. Consuming the story was an intellectual exercise for me, not an emotional one, which is a shame since she's such a good writer. She's just not my style, it seems. Because it's a fascinating take on the selkie myths, a dark exploration of human motivation and greed with meaty themes and a satisfying thread of the tragic. I enjoyed the tale, just not the telling.

This is a novel based on the Selkie legends, and is one of many published with the new “mermaid” theme so popular now with YA writers. While the island of Rollrock is fictitious, the book is written in a voice similar to that of any Maritime novel. Shunned for her ugliness by most everyone in her tiny fishing village on, Misskaela Prout becomes a sort of witch, using her gift of magicking human forms out of seals. Enchanted by lust, the Rollrock men soon forsake their wives and pay Misskaela to conjure their mates.Told in a variety of voices across several generations in what is essentially a series of linked short stories, the book depicts the consequences of men loving women who, despite their affection for their husbands and children, struggle with their innate desire to return to the sea. Like her last Printz award winning novel—which I LOVED—this is a beautifully written book and is hard to compare to anything else out there. For fans of fractured or remade fairy tales. (AL)

Nov 28, 2012
  • hanstra rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Until about 2/3 through, I really didn't like it- really blah and seemingly pointless. The last 1/3 of the book really pulled it together though- 4 1/2 stars. The author finally conveyed an opinion, and really gave the book a heart that the beginning lacked. Ultimately, the dragging majority of the book made me give it a 3.

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Dec 22, 2012
  • quagga rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Brides of Rollrock Island

Margo Lanagan talks about her novel, which is called Sea Hearts in Australia.

Find it at NPL

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