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

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473638976
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781473662599
    • Publication date:08 Feb 2018

The Sealwoman's Gift

the extraordinary book club novel of 17th century Iceland

By Sally Magnusson

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Selected for the Zoe Ball ITV Book Club and BBC Radio 2 Book Club. The debut novel of abduction and slavery set in 17th century Iceland and North Africa by Sunday Times bestselling author and broadcaster Sally Magnusson.

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


'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
'Engrossing' Sunday Express 'Fascinating ... a really, really good read' BBC R2 Book Club
'The best sort of historical novel' Scotsman 'A lyrical tale' Stylist
'A poetic retelling of Icelandic history' Daily Mail 'Compelling stuff' Good Housekeeping
'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.

Chosen for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and the ITV Zoe Ball Book Club.

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

'Vivid and compelling' Adam Nichols, co-translator of The Travels of Reverend Ólafur Egilsson

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: 9781473638983
  • Publication date: 14 Jun 2018
  • Page count: 384
  • 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
A remarkable feat of imagination that transports the reader to 17th-century Iceland and Algiers ... an extraordinarily immersive read that emphasises the power of stories, examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom. Through her deft storytelling, Magnusson takes us on a journey that not only crosses continents, but encompasses tragedy and rich sensuality. — Sian Norris, Guardian
An evocative, striking new novel ... which brings an Icelandic historical tragedy, and in particular, Icelandic woman Asta Egilsson, back to pulsing life. — Stephen McGinty, Times
Moving, accomplished ... Richly imagined and energetically told, The Sealwoman's Gift is a powerful tale of loss and endurance — Sunday Times
Magnusson has certainly done her research, and she has found in the silences of the historical record the space for a novel that moves gracefully between what is known and what must be imagined...Much of the pleasure of reading The Sealwoman's Gift is that of a good yarn well told. — TLS
Fascinating ... a really, really good read — BBC Radio 2 Book Club
Sally Magnusson has turned this grim true story into a page-turner...beautifully told. — Radio Times
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. — Zoe Ball Book Club
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
Sally Magnusson's wonderfully accomplished first novel is an enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives. It's a delightful piece of storytelling which is also a story about telling stories ... In short, this is the best sort of historical novel — Scotsman
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 has taken a little-known historical event - the Barbary corsair raid on Iceland in 1627 - and produced a moving story of suffering and redemption. Her tale of Ásta, the Reverend's wife, indomitable survivor of tragedy and heartbreak, is vivid and compelling' — Adam Nichols
A rich, captivating work — Mail on Sunday
Engrossing, atmospheric — Sunday Express
Compelling stuff — Good Housekeeping
A lyrical tale full of the Icelandic stories that Asta tells her children and her kidnappers — Stylist
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
Sally Magnusson's wonderfully accomplished first novel is an enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives. It's a delightful piece of storytelling which is also a story about telling stories. — Yorkshire Post
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
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
Packed with detail and characters, Sally's immersive prose and precise observations entwine you in the action and emotion of this dramatic tale. An absolute triumph of imagination — Press Association
Inspired by the country's literary sagas, the novel's heart-wrenching fiction is built around the bloodied bones of fact, words hauled from written records of the 17th century — Sunday Post
Much more than simply a vividly-imagined historical novel, but a personally touching meditation on the choices we're forced to make in life — Lonesome Reader
Captivating — Scots Magazine
This psychological depth, along with engaging prose and meticulous research into the history on which this novel is based, makes The Sealwoman's Gift another contender for my books of the year — Annethology
Hodder & Stoughton

The Swap

Fiona Mitchell
Authors:
Fiona Mitchell
Hodder & Stoughton

When You Read This

Mary Adkins
Authors:
Mary Adkins
John Murray

My Abandonment

Peter Rock
Authors:
Peter Rock

'A beautiful, strange novel . . . Fascinating and moving, it tells with great tenderness how human love goes wrong' Ursula K. Le Guin'The recent novel I recommend most . . . a short, disciplined, unsettling book' Hanya YanagiharaThirteen-year-old Caroline and her father live in Forest Park, an enormous nature preserve in Portland, Oregon. Day to day, they live in an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, tend a garden and even keep a library of sorts. Once a week they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilised world. But one small mistake allows a jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence. Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of its young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a gripping journey into life in the wilderness and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

Two Roads

The Cactus

Sarah Haywood
Authors:
Sarah Haywood
Hodder & Stoughton

The Baltic Prize

Julian Stockwin
Authors:
Julian Stockwin
Two Roads

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night

Jen Campbell
Authors:
Jen Campbell
Hodder & Stoughton

Seeing Red

Sandra Brown
Authors:
Sandra Brown
Hodder & Stoughton

The Carousel

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

In public, Oliver Grey is a devoted father, prominent public figure and respected businessman. But in private, he has a much darker side.On a visit to her brother Dan's house, Oliver's niece Amanda sees a silver carousel much like the one her uncle gave her as a child. When Amanda breaks down and reveals a troubling link between her niece Caroline, her uncle Oliver and the silver carousel, events take a dangerous turn. Horrified by the revelations, Dan's wife Ellen visits Oliver's home to confront him. And when she leaves, Oliver is dead.But with one son mired in gambling debts and a desperately troubled niece, finding the person behind Oliver's death might not be as simple as it seems.

Hodder & Stoughton

Legacy of Silence

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

Caroline Hartzinger flees wartime Europe with a shattered life and a devastating secret. Pregnant and unwed, she arrives in America in 1939. Joel Hirsch offers marriage and respectability, hoping one day to earn her love, if not the passion she feels for a man whose memory haunts them both. With Joel, Caroline builds a new life, determined to bury the past - until her daughter Eve brings Caroline's carefully crafted world crashing down again, driven by rage to discover the truth. Now the legacy that has tainted lives and put generations at risk is Eve's secret to keep. But with it comes a gift - a new sister who offers hope, and a truth that will finally break the hold of the past.

Hodder & Stoughton

Promises

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

With three children, a beautiful home and her loving husband Adam, Margaret Crane is a woman many would envy. When Adam begins working late at the office, Margaret is sure it's just the rumoured takeover of his company - until she meets Randi, the other woman.As the life Margaret knows comes crashing down, her adopted daughter Nina revels in New York. Nina is sure she's found Mr. Right in Keith, a brilliant investment banker. But Keith has a secret he hasn't told Nina.As Nina clings to stolen weekends with Keith and Margaret plays the dutiful wife, a rift develops between the two women. Keith is not welcome in Margaret's home. And Nina herself is the other woman...

Hodder & Stoughton

Daybreak

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

Laura and 'Bud' Rice share an elegant home and two children; brilliant, handsome Tom and cherished, chronically ill Timmy. But after nineteen years of marriage, Laura's respectable husband is a stranger - and the reason behind Tom's escalating involvement with a group of campus bigots. Suddenly the Crawfields enter their lives and shatter the Rice's fragile world. As their quiet Southern town explodes with hate and violence, the two families must embrace the shattering truth, or risk being destroyed by it.

Hodder & Stoughton

Evergreen

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

A magnificent story of courage and ambition. Born into poverty and fear, Anna Friedman is desperate to leave her native Poland. Determined to make something of herself, Anna takes a journey that will change her life forever. Crossing the ocean, she moves to into a cramped New York slum and finds a job in a sweatshop. When two very different men fall in love with her, Anna is torn in love and loyalty.

Hodder & Stoughton

Random Winds

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain
Hodder & Stoughton

On the Third Day of Christmas

Helen Chandler
Authors:
Helen Chandler

Put your feet up, tuck into a mince pie and enjoy this treat-sized piece of festive fiction. For fans of Jenny Colgan and Lisa Jewell.It's 27th December, and Julia is thinking about Christmas, and the cosy, relaxed days she spent with her best friend, Toby. Maybe it was just the magic of Christmas, or maybe it was just her, but was there a frisson of something else between them? After ten years of friendship, and a couple of near-misses, is Julia coming to realise that true love might have been under her nose all along? Most importantly, does Toby feel the same?

Hodder Paperbacks

To Have and to Hold

Helen Chandler
Authors:
Helen Chandler

From the outside, Ella has the happy marriage, the cute kids and the comfortable home - inside, she craves something more. But giving in to temptation will stir up a whole heap of trouble . . .Imogen's relationship with Pete was once fun and carefree but since they've become parents, everything is different. Then an accident provides the catalyst for a life-changing decision.Fifteen-year-old Phoebe is miserable at home and at school. And now her dad, who was always her ally, seems completely distracted by something - or someone. Maybe it's time Phoebe took a stand, and took control of her own life.As Ella, Imogen and Phoebe contemplate taking the biggest risk of their lives, marriages, families and friendships hang in the balance. Should they take the leap, or will they risk losing everything?

Hodder Paperbacks

Looking Back

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain
Hodder Paperbacks

After the Fire

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain
Hodder & Stoughton

Fortune's Hand

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

Rob McDaniels, a schoolteacher with noble intentions, comes into a little money, enabling him to go to law school. Upon graduation he goes to work for a fine honourable firm and marries the daughter of the senior partner, leaving behind the hometown girl he had planned to marry. From then on his career brings him enormous successes but then takes a shocking turn that changes his life and the life of his family, and reverberates into the next generation.With the magic of a born storyteller, bestselling author Belva Plain unfolds the devastating tale of a man whose dreams come true. Fortune's Hand is a novel of temptation, betrayal and greed - and of the redeeming power of love.

Hodder & Stoughton

Homecoming

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

With unerring insight and emotional power, Belva Plain, in her extraordinary novel, tells the story of a family divided and of the proud matriarch who takes a bold last stand to unite her warring children in what may be their last Homecoming.It is a crisp December day when Annette Byrne walks to the end of her long, curving driveway and drops five sealed envelopes into the mailbox, quickly, before second thoughts stay her hand. Shortly thereafter, with the holidays approaching, her estranged family will be gathered at her country estate for the first time in years.The sons. . . two brothers embittered by a breach of ethics, honor, and trust. The grandchildren. . . one young couple on the verge of divorce; another, lovingly united against the parents who have tarnished their lives. As the ill-fated meeting hurtles toward a bitter and abrupt conclusion, not even Annette Byrne's indomitable will can heal the rift--until a shattering event alters the landscape forever.

Hodder Paperbacks

Secrecy

Belva Plain
Authors:
Belva Plain

First came the sin. Then the lies.He was handsome, charming, irresistable, and an eighteen-year-old lady-killer, her uncle Cliff's stepson, Ted. But in one terrible night he would shatter the life of fourteen-year-old Charlotte Dawes and nearly destroy her family. Years afterward, Charlotte would remember that night with fear and loathing, with pain that could be banished only by her work as a gifted architect, building a new world for others as she conceals her own.For Charlotte's family, prime employers in New England mill town, what happened to Charlotte was the beginning of the end. Her father is left shattered by his daughter's pain. Her troubled mother is unable to cope. And her distinguished family has fallen from grace, plunged into debt. The only rock that sustains them in their darkest hours is a woman whose own guilty secret has given her the power to ruin--or resurrect--the family to whom she owes her life.Belva Plain's searing novel cuts to the heart of a family ravaged by secrecy. But it is ultimately a story of redemption, the kind that grows when one person dares to tell the truth.