8 comments on “The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson | Book Review

    • It’s definitely a good book! I’m sure if my expectations hadn’t been so high, I’d have put it down feeling even more positive. I’m excited to see what Magnusson writes next.

  1. A non-Women’s Prize review! What is this! Great review though, and I’m sorry this didn’t blow you away, but glad you still enjoyed it. I know what you mean about book premises sometimes being a bit TOO in one’s wheelhouse.

    • I genuinely put off reading this for months because I was scared my expectations would leave me feeling let down 😂 It’s still a solid novel though, and Magnusson is certainly a good writer!

  2. Maybe I’m begin too dismissive, but it sounds like this novel should have been a novella, or even a short story. When I was in school earning my MFA, my thesis adviser always said don’t turn a short story into a long story, or a long story into a novella, or a novella into a novel, especially if you’re doing so because you think one form is more appreciated/sells better/taken seriously.

    • It’s a fair suggestion! The time period it covers is vast, so I can understand why she wrote it as a novel, but I definitely think it could have been edited down, or at least had its pacing reworked so that the narrative progression flowed more evenly.

      I’m not sure if she’s known internationally or not, but Magnusson is a respected journalist and broadcaster in the UK, and she’s written a lot of non-fiction in the past. Her prose is gorgeous in this, but I’ve just thought that perhaps her usual journalistic approach to fact and detail informed her fiction style somewhat. It’s possible that her eagerness to capture every detail ultimately impacted the pacing. An interesting one to ponder!

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