The action in Tom Gilling's wickedly funny, magical novel, The Sooterkin, revolves around the bizarre birth of a child who appears to be more seal than human. As the extraordinary news spreads through the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (present-day Tasmania) during the winter of 1821, mystified residents flock to investigate. The local reverend hypothesizes a virgin birth, but the town's resident science "expert" suspects that the pup may be akin to the mysterious sooterkin-a monstrous, mythical creature born to women in Holland. In spite of its unusual physiology, the child's mother and brother accept the family's newest member and protect it from the clutches of outsiders, who want to exploit the sooterkin baby for profit. In the tradition of The Secret of Roan Inish, The Sooterkin is the perfect summertime fairy tale.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 127 x 195.58 x 15.24mm | 181.44g
- 01 Aug 2001
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom