The Gracekeepers

Kirsty Logan. Crown, $25 (304p) ISBN 978-0-553-44661-6
Logan (The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales) combines elements of folk and fairy tales with a near-future landscape in her debut novel. Rising sea waters have turned Earth into a series of archipelagos and its population into two types: landlockers, who control the dwindling resources on land, and damplings, who make their home on boats at sea. Callanish is a so-called gracekeeper, living in self-imposed solitude on an isolated island, taking payment in food and supplies for providing underwater burial rituals for damplings. North—along with her beloved dancing bear companion—is the star of a ramshackle circus that travels by boat from island to island. Both young women have secrets, and when they meet each other in the wake of a tragedy, they begin to imagine a possibility for a third kind of life, one that might bridge the divide between land and sea. The narration incorporates the voices of North and Callanish, other circus folk, and Callanish's family and acquaintances, building a convincing world. Filled with evocative images, including cruise ships transformed into itinerant revival meetings, and with classic fairy tale elements such as world trees and selkies, Logan's novel imbues what is essentially an environmental fable with the heft of myth. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/18/2015
Release date: 05/19/2015
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4434-3793-6
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4434-3795-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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