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The Visitors
(Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Melville House 2015
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Available from OverDrive
Description
In the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks, Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush, atmospheric coming-of-age taleNobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa. Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about"selkies," the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again. Convinced of her new neighbors' innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Can the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
12/29/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781612194646
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Simon Sylvester. (2015). The Visitors. Melville House.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Simon Sylvester. 2015. The Visitors. Melville House.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Simon Sylvester, The Visitors. Melville House, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Simon Sylvester. The Visitors. Melville House, 2015.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
9363b655-0bdc-c16f-b3b0-b2eecff5aef2
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:31:31
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 18:31:31
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Apr 18, 2021 10:06:28
Last Metadata Change:
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Apr 18, 2021 10:06:30
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OverDrive Product Record

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      • bioText: SIMON SYLVESTER is a writer, teacher, and occasional filmmaker. After working as a camera assistant and journalist, he began writing fiction, and his short sotries are published regularly in literary journals. He lives in Cumbria with his partner and their daughter.

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shortDescription
In the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks, Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush, atmospheric coming-of-age tale

Nobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa.

Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about"selkies," the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again.

Convinced of her new neighbors' innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her...
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
The Visitors
fullDescription
In the tradition of Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks, Simon Sylvester brings an ancient myth to life with this lush, atmospheric coming-of-age tale

Nobody comes to the remote Scottish island of Bancree, and seventeen-year-old Flora can't wait to move to the mainland when she finishes school. So when a mysterious man and his daughter move into isolated Dog Cottage, Flora is curious. What could have brought these strangers to the island? The man is seductive but radiates menace, while Flo finds a kindred spirit in his daughter, Ailsa.

Meanwhile, several of the men on Bancree have disappeared, unnerving the community. When a body washes ashore, suspicion turns to the newcomers. But Flo suspects something else, even though it seems impossible: She asks local residents for anything they know about"selkies," the mythical women who can turn from seal to human and back again.

Convinced of her new neighbors' innocence, Flo is fiercely determined to protect her friend Ailsa. Can the answer to the disappearances, and to the pull of her own heart, lie out there, beyond the waves?

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Globe and Mail
      • content: "Beguiling, unputdownable."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 5, 2015
        Sylvester’s first novel chronicles the bond forged between friendless 17-year-old Flora and odd newcomer Ailsa after the latter moves to a small Scottish town plagued by several recent disappearances. While pursuing a history-class assignment on the myths of Scotland, Flo comes across a gruesome book that portrays the mythical half-seal, half human selkies as vicious creatures. The book is so unsavory that it marked the end of a small press, Broch Books, which had survived on walking guides and island trivia for the tourists. As she learns more from a storytelling drifter named Izzy, whose tales corroborate the book’s claims, Flo begins to suspect that something is amiss with Ailsa and her father, John. Though Ailsa reveals that John has moved them all over the country to track the missing people that he suspects were murdered, Flo begins to question his real motives. The narrative is mired by stock characters, such as one-dimensional mean girl Tina Robson and spoiled rich boy Lachlan Crane, the savage, reckless heir to the local brewery that keeps the town working. Things come to a head during a violent incident that leaves Flo at the center of a mystery. This story takes some intriguing swings and features a fresh setting and interesting local mythos, but Sylvester misses the mark when writing about teenage girls and doesn’t fare much better with plot.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2015
        In Sylvester's debut novel, myth and mystery collide on an isolated Scottish island when two strangers move in. Flora can't wait to escape from Bancree, a remote island barely sustaining its whisky trade. As she begins her final year of school, a father and daughter move into an abandoned cottage across the bay. Flora is drawn to dark-eyed John Dobie and his daughter, Ailsa, and the two girls soon become friends. Flora's history teacher assigns a project about Scottish mythology that finds Flora collecting stories of selkies, human-seal hybrids who break the hearts of those who fall in love with them. Izzy, the local shennachie, a "storyteller of the oldest sort," serves as one of her sources, and through her research and Izzy's tales, Flora becomes obsessed with selkies and begins to wonder whether there might be truth to the old legends after all. Several local men go missing, including one of Flora's family friends. Have they wandered off while drinking, or could there be a supernatural explanation? Though billed as a mystery, the novel is much less a whodunit than a meditation on place, history, and progress. Sylvester's descriptions of the dying town of Bancree and its wild shores add more than atmosphere. Like many modern teenagers, Flora feels like an outsider and can't wait to leave for college, but the remote geography of the islands imbues the novel with an old-fashioned feel as well. While Flora's voice doesn't always sound authentically "teen-age girl," her world-weariness seems to come from her acute awareness of not belonging. In the end, Sylvester's biggest success is ambiguity. The mystery plot is clearly wrapped up, but the mythic echoes are allowed to resonate, making the reader question the line between story and truth. Successfully explores the power of stories and storytelling across place and time.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 15, 2015
        Friendless 17-year-old Flora is desperately anxious to leave her remote, thinly populated Scottish island of Bancree when new peoplea father (John) and his daughter (Ailsa)arrive and move into an abandoned, tumbledown cottage. The two girls quickly become friends, but as Flora undertakes research for a school paper on selkieslegendary women and men who can transform into seals and back againshe begins to wonder about her new friend's true identity. In the meantime, men from the island begin disappearing, and the police, presuming foul play, make Ailsa's father a prime suspect. Flora is desperate to protect her new friends, but what can she do? Sylvester's nicely done first novel is an invitation to imagination as it explores the ambiguous intersection of fantasy and reality. A handful of tales about selkies are nicely integrated into the plot and reinforce the hints of magic that enliven the story. Though the ending is a bit predictable and approaches melodrama, the story is, overall, a satisfying exercise in literary fantasy.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

popularity
127
publisher
Melville House
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