Monday, December 3, 2012

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

Check another great Mock Printz book off the list. Margo Lanagan's stories embrace folklore, mythology (whether based on traditional tales or something she crafts herself), and fantastical imagery. And they've also given me some of the creepiest chills while reading.

I loved the movie The Secret of Roan Inish when I saw it back in college, so this summer when I heard about a Margo Lanagan selkie story I anticipated all kids of love. What would Lanagan add to the folktales?

My initial thought after finishing: this was pretty darn tame for a ML book.

I definitely found the weak-minded men leching after their stolen selkie brides creepy. I kept thinking that there has to be more to the story than the men leaving human women behind for these brides. Albeit brides given to them by a scheming witch. Still, a rather tame witch as witches come.

So where's the catch? These men must have repercussions for keeping their wives. I want justice for all the girls and women! But then, are the men bad? Am I starting to feel sorry for them? Might that be a glimmer of devistation on the horizon? Because that would be Lanagan style. Gently slip those chills in there.

I knew the brides would find their way back to the sea, but how and would it be terrible? By this far into the book readers will piece together potential for what may come. Brides makes for another excellent example of a storyline revealing itself in bits and making the reader stretch her mind back to previous names and details. When the revelations unfold, whoa. Chills! Thank you, author!

The verdict? I still have Verity and Stars on top of my list. I'm in the midst of a detour (Alice Munro's Dear Life) and then I'll dive into Every Day. A great list of reading so far!

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