by Sylvia Peck
This haunting little book is a modern story based on the myth of selkies, seals who change themselves into people. Its main character is Molly, a young girl spending a vacation on a Maine island with her family. One day Molly hears a baby seal crying, and following the sound finds a horrible scene: a skinned dead seal on the beach. Shortly after, she discovers a strange girl named Meara living with her elderly neighbor. As the girls become acquainted, Meara's secret gradually unfolds: she is really a seal, and the dead body on the beach was her mother. Before long Meara and Molly are inseperable, until their friendship is finally tested and Meara must choose to stay on land or return to the sea. Seal Child is a lovely book, well-written and intriguing. It has a few quiet surprises. The secondary characters (the elderly neighbor, Molly's little brother, her parents) are not well-developed, but as the narrative is focused on Molly's concerns and Meara's oddities, this doesn't weaken the story much.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 200 pages, 1989
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