Finn wife, mermaid, selkie, undine ...? the references to mythological creatures mount, the sea imagery swells with every page till the book is flooded with salt-watery light.
The cottage on an unnamed island in Orkney, where the honeymoon couple find themselves marooned, becomes the setting for the deeply psychological under-sea struggles of the professor and his wife.
For Orcadians, the attempt to use Orkney dialect words and phrases will doubtless raise a wry smile. But that irritation aside, the book builds in intensity and other-worldliness right up to the inevitable ending. There are echoes of Mary Shelley, of Wuthering Heights, of Possession, and there is a kind of heightened professorial language harking back to earlier times. The Orkney depicted also looks to a mythological past.
I'm partial to a bit of watery imagery myself; as a child my favourite story was Andersen's The Little Mermaid. And we are lucky to have the prize-winning author of Orkney come to these islands to talk about her book.
Wednesday 26 June
Entry FREE but TICKETED
Contact Orkney Library:
Tel: 01856 873166