SHORTLISTED FOR THE HWA DEBUT CROWN | THE BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD | THE MCKITTERICK PRIZE | THE PAUL TORDAY MEMORIAL PRIZE | THE WAVERTON GOOD READ AWARD
A ZOE BALL ITV BOOK CLUB PICK
‘Sally Magnusson has taken an ideal true event and created a brilliant first novel. It is an epic journey in each sense: even supposing It is historical, It is incredibly relevant to our world these days. We had to select it’ Zoe Ball Book Club
‘A remarkable feat of imagination … I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure‘ Sarah Perry, creator of The Essex Serpent ‘A powerful tale of Barbary pirates … richly imagined and energetically told.’ Sunday Times ‘Engrossing’ Sunday Express ‘Fascinating … a in reality, in reality 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 most productive 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 ordinary life... An accomplished and intelligent novel’ Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, creator of Why Did You Lie?
‘Vivid and compelling’ Adam Nichols, co-translator of The Travels of Reverend Ólafur Egilsson