FREE READ The Visitors 107

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FREE READ The Visitors 107 î In the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush atmospheric coming of age taleNobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree and seventeen year old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isoIn the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush atmospheric coming of age taleNobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree and seventeen year old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Co. there's a sustained haunting uality underlying this novel with a white noise hum that kinda shivers underneath your skin even after you've finished reading it's a scottish coming of age gothic novel with both fantasy and mystery elements which i know sounds like someone getting a little too greedy at the plot store but i'm telling you it works part of it is the setting you give me a sparsely populated non tropical island story with a teenage girl yearning for life than the geographical isolation and technological fickleness that makes up her world and you got poignant covered you add mysterious disappearances and dark mythology and the spookiness is stirred in and there's not much i like than poignant spookiness here we have flora seventeen and restless she lives on the scottish island of bancree with her mother her stepfather ronny and their baby jamie where the tapwater runs thick with peat and flora has to take a ferry to the mainland each morning to attend school her boyfriend richard; whom she has known her whole life is a year older has just left scotland for university in bristol and has promptly broken up with her since richard was one of the few teenagers who lived on bancree and all of her school friends were made up of his older and now departed crowd flora is completely alone entering her final year of high schoolshe's not angry about the breakup but she is angry that richard is living the life she wants so badly for her own new people new experiences and all the glamorous mistakes of young adulthood My anger wasn't for Richard That was only a fleeting thing a distraction And it wasn't even anger It was jealousyGoing out with him was an escape my route to freedom a cord that connected me to the world outside Richard had cut that cord and I felt robbed and hollow the cavern of my stomach writhing with tiny wormy things Frustration envy sadness It should have been me who'd escaped into a new life drinking in bars and meeting new people It should have been me doing the breaking up The dumpingbut flora soon has plenty of distractions of her own she is assigned a research paper on the history of the selkie myth several bancree men go missing including a close friend of ronny's and she meets ailsa a girl of her own ago who has just moved with her father to dog rock a location even remote and foreboding than bancree the two girls develop a fierce bond despite the air of grief and mystery that surrounds ailsa and her father and the lines between reality and fantasy blur as the tension surrounding the missing persons cases escalates and the very future of the island is uncertainthere are a lot of strengths to this novel the descriptions of the sea the island the weather the wind they're fantastic and they make for a clear well defined setting as interesting as any of the characters the coming of age elements are also superb flora's desire to start her adult life is palpable and her frustration and future dreams are effective and moving because they live inside such an articulate intelligent and capable girl not just some wistful dreamersylvester writes flora's family dynamic very successfully in all its delicacy flora's is a loving family but she feels the teenager's sense of being in the way; that there's no place for her in her mother and ronnie's new family with jamie the fact that the house is so small that flora's leaving will actually improve their living conditions is something flora acknowledges as a practical reality and not a personal slight but as much as she wants to leave there are always conflicting emotions wound around major life changes and sylvester does an excellent job of layering them all in and still maintaining some of that melodramatic adolescent angst Crossing to the Co op I strolled the harbour edge weaving between the mooring posts looking down into the water It was tinged turuoise and astoundingly clear Clusters of weed hung russet in the wash Tiny fish flickered around a hanging hawser long forgotten and now without a purpose thick with barnacles and slime For those little fish that hawser was a universe I knew how they felt My shoes scuffed on the old stone blocks that edged the harbourflora's research into the selkie myths is also a strong component to the story and there are several great discussions about the nature of storytelling and tradition and the origin and development of mythologies over time and the conflict between oral tradition and the written word most of these occur between flora and izzy who lives on the beach and is a sennachie or professional storyteller 'Write up the bones of it if you must Get the basics of it for your homework But don't write the whole thing like I told it you ''Why not' I said confusedHe huffed a bit'Look' he said 'this might sound daft to you lass But my stories are about the telling and the hearing not the writing and the reading They're all for talking out loud They're about this and that and this' he said pointing haplessly at the sky and the sea and the cracking fire 'If you write them down they'll lose some of the magic''I don't get it''It's like this If you put a bear in a cage what do you have''A bear''No All you have is a cage'the disappearances although technically the most dramatic aspects of the book are actually pretty much just backdrop there are definitely repercussions and they have importance to the story but the center of this stage is reserved for atmosphere and setting; it's immersive chilly filled with tea and jumpers and flora shines as a character in her growing awareness of the world around her her inner landscape and her her resistance to letting go of wonder 'What's wrong What can't you handle''I'm not sure Miss It's just sodark It's all so negative''The selkie stories''No They're just daft It's history itself Miss'She smiled blandly and shook her head'I don't follow''There's no mystery' I said blurting it out 'There's no magic'She traces her fingers over the front sheet'I heard the stories' I said 'and I was hooked They were really exciting I was hooked Miss I wanted to know And now I've analysed them and contrasted them and explored them and explained them and now the magic's gone Miss'Frowning she thumbed through the report'It's hollow' I said 'It's all so empty'Fragments of words echoed on the whiteboard Nothing survived entire'That's all part of growing up Flora You know that don't you You must know that It all goes in the end''I'm not sure' I managed thickly 'that I want that for myself'it's just sheer loveliness it's sensual occasionally erotic and a wonderful wonderful fantasy story i will definitely be looking out for by this author even if it's just about flora and ailsa selkies optionalcome to my blog

READ & DOWNLOAD à eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Simon Sylvester

Though it seems impossible She asks local residents for anything they know about selkies the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back againConvinced of her new neighbors' innocence Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa Can the answer to the disappearances and to the pull of her own heart lie out there beyond the wav. I stayed up far too late last night to finish this there was a cup of coffee consumed mid afternoon which contributed to my reading prowess but the majority of the blame belongs to this compelling and engaging novel I'm betting a lot of other people in the US will have the same experience as many UK readers have already when the book hits the shelves this winterThe pleasures here are myriad Chief among them is a compelling and smart teenage narrator Flora who despite her insight has blindspots and immature impulses that lead her to some very poor decisions Very poor indeed and her foolishness is all the irritating because of how alive she is and how much Sylvester makes us her partisansAt seventeen with her mother and her partner consumed with their new baby Flo is ready to leave Bancree her tiny Scottish island as soon as she finishes school Indeed as the novel opens her long term boyfriend is leaving for school in England and her sadness at his departure is born of envy at his breaking free while she is still stuck than from romantic longing For all her desire to leap into the next phase of her life and despite her impatience with the bleakness and isolation of island life described with here with unsentimental clarity tempered by love for the intrinsic beauty of the landscape Flo is attuned to the seductive mysteries of land and sea in her small remote corner of the Hebrides A school project on myth and the chance discovery of a slender volume of stories about Selkies pull at her Her fascination leads her to collect tales from a local beach combing storyteller and even her aging and rambling grandfather Sylvester manages to make Flo's fascination with the tales which are both haunting and horrific a reflection of her own teetering moment at the edge of adulthood Flora knows Selkies are the fantastic embodiment of that sailors and seafaring communities invented to make sense of the loss and loneliness of their hardscrabble existence yet there is a part of her that is hoping the magical beings are realThe focus of her yearning turns towards the only incomers Bancree an island that is bleeding people has seen in a long time A father and daughter have just taken up residence on Dog Rock a small ledge with a single cottage several hundred yards off of Bancree proper Ailsa becomes the first friend Flo has had besides her ex boyfriend Aisa's father John becomes the object of Flo's fantasies But why are they here and what connection do they have to the island men that have gone missing over the preceding monthsNo spoilers but Sylvester does a stellar job at mixing his various themes and plot threads into a cohesive and page turning novel It is at once a thriller and one of the best and least maudlin coming of age novels I've read in some time Flora and the events that tip her into adulthood will intrigue adult readers perhaps than many teens though I know uite a few who will find Flo a kindred spirit

Simon Sylvester Ü 7 FREE READ

The VisitorsTtage Flora is curious What could have brought these strangers to the island The man is seductive but radiates menace while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter AilsaMeanwhile several of the men on Bancree have disappeared unnerving the community When a body washes ashore suspicion turns to the newcomers But Flo suspects something else even. I don’t know why this book felt so perfect for autumn and cool weather and grey skies and my current melancholy but it was perfection Beautifully blending moody teenage angst Scottish island life mysterious disappearances and selkie mythology Sylvester’s novel is the best newish book I’ve devoured in months I found myself angry that work and sleep were disrupting my progress I wish there was I wish the story went on forever I want to sink into Flo’s life and never leave the comfort of her tales Achingly dreamingly stunning–Brandi Baileyfrom The Best Books We Read In October 2016