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Sands o' the Shore

By

Worth reading ūüėé

A lighthearted tale of complicated families, romance, and other-worldly creatures set in modern-day remote Scotland.

Synopsis

Sands o' the Shore is a romantic fantasy loosely based on the legends of the selkies and it takes place on a remote island off the coast of northwestern Scotland. A handsome male selkie is rescued after being injured by three red headed cousins. Since he is unable to return to the sea, they must teach him how to live as a human.

Sands o’ the Shore appealed to me because I grew up by the sea on the east coast of Australia, and the beach is still my most favourite place to be. This book is based on a remote island in Scotland. Although the geography between Scotland and Australia is very different, the ocean is a universal force that captures one's heart. Each chapter is prefaced with a pithy quote, which adds a sea-tang to the story. For example - "Limitless and immortal, the waters are the beginning and end of all things on earth" - Heinrich Zimmer.


The story unfolds around the lives of three red-haired cousins. Amy is a Scottish girl who returns to the island to live in the cottage, left to her by her dearly beloved grandmother. Tara grew up in the USA, with five brothers, and largely absent parents. Rosemary was raised by her wild Irish mother, who could never settle with one man or in one place. All three are at turning points in their lives, and by accident or design, end up staying together in Amy’s house for the summer.


Life on the island is slow and gentle. It is populated by the sort of characters you would expect to find there. The author gradually brings out the personalities beneath the stereotypes to make each of them real and interesting. A handsome artist is found camping on the beach and is drawn into the cottage family, as is a young man from Rosemary’s school. The third male character is a man-seal, known in legend as a selkie, and his role is the main thread of the story.


If you are looking for a lovely tale with a few spikes of drama, some romance, some mystery, and a happy ending, this is the book for you. The author’s writing style is casual and graceful, and apart from a few typographic and grammatical errors, I found the book easy to read and hard to put down. It contains adult themes, but nothing more than inference, and is altogether an enjoyable read.

Reviewed by

I live in Far North Queensland, Australia, with one husband, one dog, one real cat, and 68 cat ornaments. I write children's books about outback Australia.

Synopsis

Sands o' the Shore is a romantic fantasy loosely based on the legends of the selkies and it takes place on a remote island off the coast of northwestern Scotland. A handsome male selkie is rescued after being injured by three red headed cousins. Since he is unable to return to the sea, they must teach him how to live as a human.

It was a beautiful day to stake out a rock and bask in the warm rays of the early spring sun. The particular rock that Seabright was currently sprawled out on was not his first choice. He had just gotten comfortable on his favorite spot when his father showed up and chased him off of it. Since the old man was a great deal bigger than Seabright was and not afraid to throw his immense weight around to prove his dominance, Seabright had slipped off the rock without any hesitation. Once he was once more into the water, he goaded the ever present sea gulls into calling the huge male seal named Striker some very loud and extremely rude names.

Grumbling to himself, Seabright swam toward the small patch of sandy shore nearby. He hauled himself onto the land and made his way to his second favorite location, a series of rock ledges just off to the side of the sandy beach. The rock he wanted to sprawl out on was occupied of course, but he had no problem convincing the three year old bachelor seal that it would be wise to leave.

Once he had made himself comfortable again, Seabright surveyed his kingdom. Technically it wasn't really his, at least not yet. The beach itself was located on a remote corner of a small island off the northwestern coast of Scotland. The island itself could only be reached by the use of a ferry boat that only made two round trips a day. Just a little further out to sea was another island. There was no human population there, just an automated lighthouse and a whole bunch of seals that had claimed its rocky beach as their territory.

Seabright tended to avoid that island. It was too crowded for one thing, since there really wasn't much of a shore line available. Secondly, he considered himself above the noisy seals that congregated there. They were mostly the common harbor seals and the slightly bigger grey seals. He and his family were different. Not only were they a great deal larger in size and darker in color than the others, they were something very rare and special.

Seabright and his family were selkies.

About the author

I am a retired US Air Force Weather forecaster and I live on a small horse farm in the central part of Washington State. I enjoy writing, drawing, handcrafts, photography and traveling around the world. view profile

Published on February 22, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Genre: Fantasy

Reviewed by

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