About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Sea Hearts (Allen and Unwin, 2012)
I have just finished reading the most extraordinary 'island' story. Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan is at once beautiful, magical, dark and heart-wrenching. It is a story set on fictional Rollrock Island where once the men took sea-wives, that is, women magicked from seals. A young girl called Misskaella discovers she has the power to call the seals and her intentions are far from innocent. The townsfolk have humiliated her for years and her desire for revenge is great. Misskaella becomes known as the witch and it is her story which is central to Sea Hearts
   The narrative is told from different viewpoints giving the reader the ability to see the damage caused by this dark magic from all perspectives. The men of the island are bewitched so that their existing relationships crumble with devastating consequences. But life with a sea-bride is not all the men imagine it will be. Problems arise with their new wives who long to return to the sea.
   Lanagan's prose is hauntingly beautiful. She really is a classy writer who can produce powerful scenes using all the senses. If you have the chance to read any of her short story collections you will also be captivated by her skill. She is an amazing author. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It is a true 'island' treasure.

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