A Zoe Ball ITV Book Club Pick
'Sally Magnusson has taken an amazing true event and created a brilliant first novel. It's an epic journey in every sense: although it's historical, it's incredibly relevant to our world today. We had to pick it' Zoe Ball Book Club
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN, THE WAVERTON GOOD READ AWARD & LONGLISTED FOR THE BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD***
'A remarkable feat of imagination ... I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure' Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent 'A powerful tale of Barbary pirates ... richly imagined and energetically told.' Sunday Times - 100 Best Books to Read This Summer
'Engrossing' Sunday Express 'Fascinating ... a really, really good read' BBC R2 Book Club
'An extraordinarily immersive read ... examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom' Guardian
1627. In a notorious historical event, pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 400 people into slavery in Algiers. Among them a pastor, his wife, and their children.
In her acclaimed debut novel Sally Magnusson imagines what history does not record: the experience of Asta, the pastor's wife, as she faces her losses with the one thing left to her - the stories from home - and forges an ambiguous bond with the man who bought her. Uplifting, moving, and witty, The Sealwoman's Gift speaks across centuries and oceans about loss, love, resilience and redemption.
'The best sort of historical novel' Scotsman 'A lyrical tale' Stylist
'A poetic retelling of Icelandic history' Daily Mail 'Compelling stuff' Good Housekeeping
'Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life... An accomplished and intelligent novel' Yrsa Sigurdardottir, author of Why Did You Lie?
'Vivid and compelling' Adam Nichols, co-translator of The Travels of Reverend Olafur Egilsson
Broadcaster and journalist Sally Magnusson has written 10 books, most famously, her Sunday Times bestseller, Where Memories Go (2014) about her mother's dementia. Half-Icelandic, half Scottish, Sally has inherited a rich storytelling tradition. Her debut novel, The Sealwoman's Gift, was a Radio 2 Book Club and Zoe Ball Book Club selection, and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, the Saltire Literary Award for Best Fiction and the HWA Debut Fiction Crown. The Ninth Child, her second novel, publishes in spring 2020.