02 June 2015

Today's Read: The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty LoganImagine that the oceans have covered most of the earth. Which type of person would you be: one tied to the land or one who lived on the water? Two women, divided by their choices, find themselves drawn together in the face of a storm and an uncertain future.

The first Callanish knew of the Circus Excalibur was the striped silk of their sails against the gray sky. They approached her tiny island in convoy: the main boat with its bobbing trail of canvas-covered coracles following like ducklings, chained in an obedient line. Ships arrived a dozen a day in the archipelagos, and Callanish knew that the circus folk would have to fight for their place on her island. Tomorrow the dock would be needed for a messenger boat, or a crime crew, or a medic. In a world that is almost entirely sea, placing your feet on land was a privilege that must be earned.
The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (Random House / Crown, 2015, p. 1)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: northern UK; the future
  • Circumstances: Callanish, a gracekeeper, lives on the land, tending the dead and marking periods of mourning. North is a circus performer, who lives on the sea and tends her trained bear. The two women seem to be opposites in every respect--solid ground vs. the water; solitary vs. public--but when their paths intersect, they find unexpected commonalities.
  • Characters: Callanish; North; other people in the circus; other gracekeepers; various other people in the women's lives
  • Genre: speculative / dystopian; elements of Celtic and Gaelic folklore and myth
  • Topics & themes: friendship, family, death, women's issues, secrets, romance, sexuality
  • Miscellaneous: The story is told from multiple points of view, though Callanish and North have the most to say
  • Reviews: Critical reviews have tended to be positive, most praising the mix of magical and dark and the exploration of gender, sexuality, and myth. Blogger reviews have run the full range, however, from meh to wonderful. I'll be my own judge.


The Bibliophilism 6/2/15, 6:22 AM  

I love the cover! It sounds like an interesting reading. I'll check it out on the net. Thanks for sharing, Beth!

Vicki 6/2/15, 7:12 AM  

Beautiful cover! Sounds interesting.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 6/2/15, 7:19 AM  

I do like the cover, but not sure the story is one that would help my reading slump.

JoAnn 6/2/15, 7:31 AM  

The opening doesn't grab me and I'm iffy on the description, too. Think I'll wait to hear what you think ;-)

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/2/15, 7:32 AM  

The Celtic angle appeals to me, not so sure about the other elements.

Unknown 6/2/15, 8:22 AM  

Interesting premise.

This week I have an excerpt from the iconic Joanna Penn: http://pdworkman.com/excerpt-from-stone-of-fire/

Kim@Time2Read 6/2/15, 8:53 AM  

Beautiful cover! The story sounds interesting, too! I'm going to add it to my list!
Today I'm featuring Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey.

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 6/2/15, 8:54 AM  

The plot provides lots of food for thought . . .

My Tuesday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/06/first-chapter-first-paragraph-108.html

Kathy Martin 6/2/15, 9:19 AM  

Sounds interesting! This book is one I have never heard of. I hope you are enjoying it. My teaser this week comes from Fountain of Secrets by Anita Clenney. Happy reading!

bermudaonion 6/2/15, 9:20 AM  

My sister really liked this book.

Kay 6/2/15, 9:36 AM  

Interesting, although a world that is mostly sea would be horrific for me. I don't do at all well on boats. Maybe I could be a land person.

Alice Audrey 6/2/15, 10:08 AM  

I wonder how many have lost interest in going ashore. Intriguing world.

Literary Feline 6/2/15, 10:49 AM  

How intriguing! This sounds really interesting. I'd be curious to know what you think. I can see myself going either way on this one, depending on the writing. From what you shared though, I think I'd like it.

Laurel-Rain Snow 6/2/15, 11:10 AM  

Sounds fascinating! I love the idea of island life....enjoy!

Here's mine: “MY SUNSHINE AWAY”

rhapsodyinbooks 6/2/15, 11:25 AM  

My own reaction was mixed.

Margot 6/2/15, 11:56 AM  

I don't think this is for me. I might give it a few pages, but I've never been a big dystopian fan. Hope it works for you.

Anonymous,  6/2/15, 3:22 PM  

An eye-catching cover, good teaser.

Cleopatra Loves Books 6/2/15, 3:39 PM  

Definitely intriguing - love that cover and the teaser too even though this isn't my normal choice of genre.

Belle Wong 6/2/15, 4:52 PM  

This looks like an interesting read. I liked the excerpt you posted.

Unknown 6/2/15, 7:53 PM  

Great teaser. I wonder how long it would take to be sick of all that water. Lovely cover art too:)

My TT - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/06/02/teaser-tuesdays-117-dont-try-to-find-me-2/

Nise' 6/2/15, 10:43 PM  

I would give this one a try!

a booklion's hideaway 6/3/15, 12:22 AM  

Nice teaser! Love the cover! Here's my Teaser Tuesday

Daryl 6/3/15, 9:30 AM  

intriguing .. adding it to the maybe list ..thanks

Tea 6/3/15, 10:31 AM  

I've seen this title other places. I'm drawn to it. Then, another part of me backs off. Hope you enjoy it.

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