The Visitors by Simon Sylvester
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not quite sure what the rules of SPOILERS are, as this was published a while ago in the UK but hasn't yet been published here in the US... Anyway, this is a cross between a mystery (what happened to and/or who killed the missing men of Bancree?) and a selkie story (our heroine is obsessed with them). How Flora moves from being the relatively outcast girlfriend to being a woman in her own right is also an interesting story, and the first moves come early on as she realizes that her boyfriend has already - before leaving for college on the mainland - moved on and is trying on a new personality. So where does that leave Flora, who has one year left on the island before she, too, can leave? Her response to that dilemma leads to a new friend, a girl who moves to an island off the "mainland" of Bancree Island and is thus even move isolated and outcast than Flora. Add to that the disappearance of three of the island's outcast men and her growing obsession with selkie stories and you have a really intriguing mix for a story. The sense of place is well done, but what lost a star was that the ending seemed a bit rushed and some opportunity to expand on what's come before is lost.
ARC provided by publisher.