The Sea on Our Skin
By Madeleine Tobert
A lyrical novel of mothers and sons, love, family and the far-reaching consequences of betrayal, set on a small Pacific island.
The Sea on Our Skin is set on an island in the South Pacific, remote from everywhere and everything, including modern life.
Outwardly a paradise, the small island community revolves around family with their traditional lives defined by the sea: some are securely held by it while others use it as a means of escape.
Ioane and Amalia are opposites in every way - Amalia, happy to be an island wife, and her husband Ioane, always compelled to leave. Their stories, both painful and loving, and the stories of their children are full of the rhythms of island life and the smell and sound of the sea as paradise begins to change...
You don't know anything about an island, my father said, unless you can feel the movement of the sea around it. It's where people find their souls, though they don't all know it . . .
Originally from Scotland, Madeleine Tobert spent several years in the Pacific islands. She tried to leave but found she just couldn't. She now lives in Auckland with her Fijian husband and their daughter. The Sea on Our Skin is her first book.
- Other details
- Publication date:
02 Feb 2012
- Page count:
'a quickly paced read, which drips with sumptuous imagery.' — Image
'First-time novelist Madeleine Tobert has written a totally convincing fiction about a small island community, somewhere in the Pacific, still untainted by Western ways.' — The Age
'Written with a graceful simplicity . . . a straightforward, fable-like tale' — Scotland on Sunday
'Written with warmth and humour and has plenty of unexpected turns.' — Bay of Plenty Times
'[Tobert's] creative skills and care with her writing shine through in this impressive first novel.' — Hawkes Bay Weekend
'Extraordinary and absorbing . . . recommended for a read you will find both lyrical and memorable.' — Southland Times
'An intergenerational narrative of stunning lyrical quality.' — Listener NZ