Sally Magnusson - The Sealwoman's Gift - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £16.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473638952
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018

The Sealwoman's Gift

By Sally Magnusson

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The debut novel set in 17th century Iceland by Sunday Times bestselling author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson

'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.' Sunday Times
'A poetic retelling of Icelandic history.' Daily Mail
'A lyrical tale' Stylist 'The best sort of historical novel.' Scotsman
'Engrossing' Psychologies 'Compelling stuff' Good Housekeeping

In 1627 Barbary pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted some 400 of its people, including 250 from a tiny island off the mainland. Among the captives sold into slavery in Algiers were the island pastor, his wife and their three children. Although the raid itself is well documented, little is known about what happened to the women and children afterwards. It was a time when women everywhere were largely silent.

In this brilliant reimagining, Sally Magnusson gives a voice to Ásta, the pastor's wife. Enslaved in an alien Arab culture Ásta meets the loss of both her freedom and her children with the one thing she has brought from home: the stories in her head. Steeped in the sagas and folk tales of her northern homeland, she finds herself experiencing not just the separations and agonies of captivity, but the reassessments that come in any age when intelligent eyes are opened to other lives, other cultures and other kinds of loving.

The Sealwoman's Gift is about the eternal power of storytelling to help us survive. The novel is full of stories - Icelandic ones told to fend off a slave-owner's advances, Arabian ones to help an old man die. And there are others, too: the stories we tell ourselves to protect our minds from what cannot otherwise be borne, the stories we need to make us happy.

'Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life... An accomplished and intelligent novel' Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, author of Why Did You Lie?

Biographical Notes

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. The Sealwoman's Gift is her first novel.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473638976
  • Publication date: 08 Feb 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: Two Roads
From the first, it leaps from the page... I found myself absolutely persuaded by Ásta's extraordinary journey from the harsh Icelandic coast to the strange and splendid palaces of Algiers. I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure — Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
Icelandic history has been brought to extraordinary life. I was swept up in the story and the vivid plight of people taken away from everything they knew and understood. An accomplished and intelligent novel. — Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, author of WHY DID YOU LIE?
Sally Magnusson writes compellingly of the psychological and physical shocks of being uprooted. Impeccably researched, this is a poetic retelling of Icelandic history. — Daily Mail
Remarkably accomplished...The true story behind the novel is almost preposterously epic, yet she brings it to life by inhabiting the minds of her characters — David Robinson, The Scotsman
A compelling read...While a historical novel, it also contains contemporary resonances, particularly in the way it examines how different people integrate into a society that is completely foreign to them — Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
An astonishing novel that will stay with me for a long time...Asta Thorsteinsdottir is a truly remarkable and resourceful heroine — Waterstones Book Blog
A lyrical tale full of the Icelandic stories that Asta tells her children and her kidnappers — Stylist
Engrossing — Psychologies
Compelling stuff — Good Housekeeping
An impressive debut from Magnusson who seems to have inherited her Icelandic ancestors' talent for beguiling storytelling — The Herald
Magnusson's prose never falters ... What an exceptional and moving fiction debut this is. — Elle Thinks blog
An engrossing and accomplished novel — The Last Word Book Review
There's something so wonderful about being wholly drawn into a richly imagined historical novel that both illuminates a somewhat forgotten or not-widely-known period of history and gives voice to people who are only glancingly referred to in the history books ... this novel brilliantly engages with many of the heartrending conflicts a woman in Asta's position must have faced while also powerfully illuminating the cultural importance of storytelling and the complicated dynamics of love — Lonesome Reader
Hodder & Stoughton

A Keeper

Graham Norton
Authors:
Graham Norton

Graham Norton's debut novel HOLDING was a Sunday Times bestseller and loved by readers everywhere. His new novel, A KEEPER, is a twisted tale of secrets and ill-fated loves that once again demonstrates Norton's understanding of human nature and all its darkest flaws.The mystery of Elizabeth Keane's father is one that has never been solved by the people of Buncarragh - not for lack of speculation. Her mother Patricia had been assumed a spinster, until she began dating a mysterious man from out of town, and within months had left Buncarragh and had married. Less than two years later, Patricia was back, with a new baby in her arms, but no new husband by her side and unbendingly silent about her recent past. A secret she would take with her to her grave.Now, as Elizabeth returns to the village after her mother's funeral, bringing with her her own regrets and wounds, she finds a thin pile of ribbon-bound letters at the back of a wardrobe that may at last hold the key to her past: Dear Lonely Leinster Lady,I'm not really sure how to begin...Praise for Holding, winner of the Irish Book Awards' Book of the Year 2016'Poised and perceptive' Sunday Times'... a deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling' Sunday Mirror'Deeply accomplished ... brilliantly observed' Good Housekeeping'... one of the more authentic debuts I've read in recent years ... in such an understated manner, eschewing linguistic eccentricity ... in favour of genuine characters and tender feeling ... this is a fine novel' John Boyne, Irish Times'It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad' Daily Express'Strenuously charming ... surprisingly tender' Metro 'Heartwarming and observant' Stylist

John Murray

Katerina

James Frey
Authors:
James Frey

Katerina is a sweeping love story that alternates between 1992 Paris and 2017 Los Angeles. The protagonist is Jay, who is 21 when he moves to Paris to live the artist's life, and falls in love for the first time. Cut to 25 years later: he is a middle-aged family man living in California when he receives an anonymous message that draws him back to the life, and possibly the love, he abandoned years prior.Katerina is the new novel from the author of the international bestseller A Million Little Pieces.

Sceptre

Varina

Charles Frazier
Authors:
Charles Frazier

The new novel from the number one bestselling author of Cold Mountain - a stunning portrait of the devastation left by the American Civil War, as seen through the eyes of a woman who played a part at the heart of it.With her marriage prospects ruined in the wake of her father's financial decline, teenage Varina Howell decides her best option is to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. When he instead pursues a career in politics and is appointed President of the Confederacy, it puts Varina at the white-hot centre of one of the darkest moments in American history - culpable regardless of her intentions.As the Confederacy prepares to surrender and she finds herself friendless and alone, Varina and her children escape Richmond. With her marriage in tatters and the country divided, they travel south, now fugitives with 'bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit'.

Sceptre

CoDex 1962

Sjón
Authors:
Sjón

'A masterpiece . . . I challenge any author to top it!' Sigridur Alberstsdottir, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.Jósef Loewe enters the world as a lump of clay - carried in a hatbox by his Jewish father Leo, a fugitive in WWII Germany.Taking refuge in a small-town guesthouse, Leo discovers a kindred spirit in the young woman who nurses him back to health and together they shape the clay into a baby. But en route to safety in Iceland, he is robbed of the ring needed to bring the child to life. It is not until 1962 that Jósef can be 'born', only to grow up with a rare disease. Fifty-three years on, it leads him into the hands of a power-hungry Icelandic geneticist, just when science and politics are threatening to lead us all down a dark, dangerous road.At once playful and profoundly serious, this remarkable novel melds multiple genres into a unique whole: a mind-bending read and a biting, timely attack on nationalism.

Hodder & Stoughton

Four

Andy Jones
Authors:
Andy Jones

One weekend towards the end of summer, charged on drink and lust and love and disappointment, two couples exchange partners for a single night. But the repercussions will last a great deal longer. Told from the perspectives of all four characters, FOUR is a book about love, secrets, friendship and fidelity. A story full of dilemmas, deceits and twists that will keep you guessing until the final page.**************Praise for Andy Jones'Touching, funny, and real' - Jane Costello on THE TWO OF US'I'm always wary about comparing books but, just this once, I'm going to make an exception because for me this is one of those few novels that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as ONE DAY. It has everything you could want from a romcom and then some' - The Sun on THE TROUBLE WITH HENRY AND ZOE

Hodder & Stoughton

The Iberian Flame

Julian Stockwin
Authors:
Julian Stockwin
Hodder & Stoughton

The Last of Our Kind

Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre
Authors:
Adélaïde de Clermont-Tonnerre
Hodder & Stoughton

The Moscow Deception

Karen Robards
Authors:
Karen Robards

THE BRAND NEW EDGE-OF-YOUR-SEAT THRILLER FROM NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR KAREN ROBARDSClever. Cunning. Highly skilled. There's only one Bianca St. Ives. And for her enemies, that's one too many.Bianca St. Ives - a highly skilled con-woman and thief - is in trouble. A revelation about her past has left her reeling, as well as making her the target of a network of assassins. Bianca was raised a fighter. She'll try and outsmart her pursuers, but if it's kill or be killed, she's got her finger flush against the trigger. But then Bianca's father loops her in on a job that might just do the trick: recovering a collection of heavily guarded, priceless artifacts stolen during World War II, and return it to Germany. The price paid if she succeeds - intel that could finally bring down the shadowy forces seeking to bury her for good. Faced with threats that circle closer with every move she makes, she knows the stakes have never been higher, but when you're already living on borrowed time, you have to hustle if you want to live to see tomorrow.

Hodder Paperbacks

The House Between Tides

Sarah Maine
Authors:
Sarah Maine
Hodder & Stoughton

The King's Witch

Tracy Borman
Authors:
Tracy Borman

Already a great historian, Tracey Borman proves with this thrilling debut novel that she is also a born storyteller.As she helps to nurse the dying Queen Elizabeth, Frances Gorges longs for the fields and ancient woods of her parents' Hampshire estate, where she has learned to use the flowers and herbs to become a much-loved healer.Frances is happy to stay in her beloved countryside when the new King arrives from Scotland, bringing change, fear and suspicion. His court may be shockingly decadent, but James's religion is Puritan, intolerant of all the old ways; he has already put to death many men for treason and women for witchcraft. So when her ambitious uncle forcibly brings Frances to court, she is trapped in a claustrophobic world of intrigue and betrayal - and a ready target for the twisted scheming of Lord Cecil, the King's first minister.Surrounded by mortal dangers, Frances finds happiness only with the precocious young Princess Elizabeth, and Tom Wintour, the one courtier she can trust. Or can she?

Hodder & Stoughton

Phoebe

Paula Gooder
Authors:
Paula Gooder

Sometime around 56 AD, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome. His letter was arguably his theological masterpiece, and has continued to shape Christian faith ever since. He entrusted this letter to Phoebe, the deacon of the church at Cenchreae; in writing to the church that almost surely met in her home, Paul refers to her both as a deacon and as a helper or patron of many. But who was this remarkable woman? In this, her first novel, Biblical scholar and popular author and speaker Paula Gooder tells Phoebe's story - who she was, the life she lived and her first-century faith - and in doing so opens up Paul's theology, giving a sense of the cultural and historical pressures that shaped Paul's thinking, and the faith of the early church. Written in the gripping style of Gerd Theissen's The Shadow of the Galilean, and similarly rigorously researched, this is a novel for everyone and anyone who wants to engage more deeply and imaginatively with Paul's theology - from one of the UK's foremost New Testament scholars.

Sceptre

A Shout in the Ruins

Kevin Powers
Authors:
Kevin Powers

Following his hugely celebrated debut novel, The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers returns to the battlefield and its aftermath, this time in his native Virginia, just before and during the Civil War and ninety years later. The novel pinpoints with unerring emotional depth the nature of random violence, the necessity of love and compassion, and the fragility and preciousness of life. It will endure as a stunning novel about what we leave behind, what a life is worth, what is said and unsaid, and the fact that ultimately what will survive of us is love.

Sceptre

The Mercy Seat

Elizabeth H. Winthrop
Authors:
Elizabeth H. Winthrop
Two Roads

The Particular Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Ruth Hogan
Authors:
Ruth Hogan
Hodder & Stoughton

Go Ask Fannie Farmer

Elisabeth Hyde
Authors:
Elisabeth Hyde

Eighty-one year-old Murray Blair had some serious matters to discuss this weekend, and he wanted things to run smoothly. But harmony, that Artful Dodger in so many families, had its way of eluding his family as well.Though the adult Blair siblings have agreed to keep things calm and amiable on a trip to stay with their elderly father, each arrives, in true Blair style, with a secret agenda. But plans are derailed when Lizzie, the youngest, turns up late with a burnt hand, impending criminal charges, and a damp family cookbook: Fannie Farmer's Boston Cooking School. The now ruined cookbook is the last vestige of a more idyllic time, when there were four siblings, not three, a public family reputation to uphold, and a mother whose handwritten notes in the margins of the recipes are their last link to her after the accident years ago. But secrets will always out, especially amongst family: and this weekend, the Blair siblings will learn that there is more to their mother's story than they could have anticipated... Told in three parts, roving between then and now, Go Ask Fannie Farmer tells of the life and death of Lillian Blair, the over-bearing, bickering, but loving children who look for ways to connect with one another in her absence, and the inner lives we hide from our families.'A remarkably lucid and authoritative novelist' John Irving

Hodder & Stoughton

Pandora's Boy

Lindsey Davis
Authors:
Lindsey Davis

Private investigator Flavia Albia is always drawn to an intriguing puzzle - even if it is put to her by her new husband's hostile ex-wife. On the Quirinal Hill, a young girl named Clodia has died, apparently poisoned with a love potion. Only one person could have supplied such a thing: a local witch who goes by the name of Pandora, whose trade in herbal beauty products is hiding something far more sinister. The supposedly sweet air of the Quirinal is masking the stench of loose morality, casual betrayal and even gangland conflict and, when a friend of her own is murdered, Albia determines to expose as much of this local sickness as she can - beginning with the truth about Clodia's death. ****************Praise for Lindsey Davis and the Flavia Albia series 'Davis's prose is a lively joy, and Flavia's Rome is sinister and gloriously real' The Times on Sunday 'Davis's books crackle with wit and knowledge . . . She has the happy knack of making the reader feel entirely immersed in Rome' The Times 'Always clever and witty with some sparkling dialogue and genuinely comic moments . . . set against a totally believable and colourful background, and rattles along at breakneck pace to a spectacular climax' Crime Review

John Murray

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala
Authors:
Uzodinma Iweala

In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer - an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except his best friend, Meredith - the one person who seems not to judge him. When his father accidentally finds out, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding towards a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed. Speak No Evil is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Sceptre

The End of Loneliness: The Dazzling International Bestseller

Benedict Wells
Authors:
Benedict Wells

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLERWINNER OF THE 2016 EUROPEAN UNION PRIZE FOR LITERATURETranslated by the award-winning translator of The Tobacconist, Charlotte Collins'Dazzling' John IrvingI've known Death a long time but now Death knows me.When their idyllic childhood is shattered by the sudden death of their parents, siblings Marty, Liz and Jules are sent to a bleak state boarding school. Once there, the orphans' lives change tracks: Marty throws himself into academic life; Liz is drawn to dark forms of escapism; and Jules transforms from a vivacious child to a withdrawn teenager. I began to be afraid of the dark, afraid of death, afraid of eternity. I was alone. And then I met Alva.The only one who can bring him out of his shell is his mysterious classmate Alva, who hides a dark past of her own, but despite their obvious love for one another, the two leave school on separate paths. Our last meeting suddenly felt like yesterday again, except that yesterday was many years ago. Years later, just as it seems that they can make amends for time wasted, the past catches up with them, and fate - or chance - will once again alter the course of a life. Told through the fractured lives of the siblings, The End of Loneliness is a heartfelt, enriching novel about loss and loneliness, family and love.'A superbly insightful story' BookRiot

John Murray

Sight

Jessie Greengrass
Authors:
Jessie Greengrass
Mulholland Books

The Zealot's Bones

D.M. Mark
Authors:
D.M. Mark