Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Swim the Moon Paperback – September 7, 2002
From Publishers Weekly
By turns tender and tormented, this haunting, lyric Celtic rhapsody on the ancient theme of selkies seal-people who in human form ensnare their mortal lovers makes a bewitching debut novel. A little shaky dialogue doesn't mar the beauty of this mythic tale at all. Mysteriously drawn back to the remote cottage in northernmost Scotland where his male ancestors and his wife have all died by drowning, Richard Brennan experiences nightmares of grief and guilt that counterpoint his joy to be "home," playing fiddle in "sessions" around the countryside. Alone in the isolated bothy (cottage) alive with ghosts, Brennan fears for his sanity, his mind tormented by ghastly visions of the sodden corpses of his forefathers, but eventually his psychic wounds start to heal. When lovely, enigmatic Ailish appears at the seaside, dancing and singing rapturously in the silvery Scottish moonlight, Brennan joins his music and his soul to hers. Given how closely the author's last name resembles his hero's, one has to wonder whether an autobiographical element animates this eerie tale of love and loss. Brennan's music comes wondrously alive in rhythmic prose and elusively shifting imagery, proving that myth and legend are inseparable parts of being a folk musician. In the old songs, pain and delight together shape human life. One pays for the other, as the bards know, "when sea-girls wake us, and we drown." Definitely a writer to watch, Brandon has a vivid, original voice, full of poignant longing and haunting echoes.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Six years after his wife's accidental death, fiddler Richard Brennan returns to Scotland from Australia for his father's funeral and finds himself drawn once more to his homeland. When disturbing dreams culminate in the vision of an elusive young woman whose presence portends love and heartbreak, Richard crosses an invisible border that carries him into the center of a family curse and a legacy of retribution. Brandon's first novel tells a compelling tale of one man's encounter with a creature born from wild magic. Recommended for most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Swim the Moon is the story of Richard Brennan, a man struggling to find new meaning in a life that was stripped of it after the death of his wife. He finds it in remote northern Scotland, in a place so wild and rugged that it may as well be a fantasy otherworld.
Brandon's strength is his ability to create a sense of place through his prose. Sometimes aching passages of description enhance the reader's sense of Richard's isolation. There is no "big twist" at the end. I'm unconvinced that Brandon ever intended to create one. What we see as we accompany Richard on his emotional journey is the way our lives become entangled with fantasy until we can't extricate ourselves. There is a sense of timelessness about this story, of myth and magic. Richard's choice is inescapable but the haunting resolution of the novel is that, in the end, he doesn't want to escape it.
Make no mistake. Not much happens in this book. If you are looking for a racy plot of epic adventure, look to those extended fantasy products at your local Borders. This one is for the romantics and the dreamers...
Brandon seems to have hit upon a lyrical style that suits him well right from the start. The style also works well for the story, especially considering the amount of exposition it contains. He mixes sentences that get straight to the point with long, lingering fragments that are almost poetic. He has a wonderful sense of place â" describing the Scottish coastline in marvellous detail. It's easy to get lost in his exquisite description - feeling the cold and tasting the salt of the sea.
Richard is a wonderfully well-rounded main character. He is likeable but possessed of enough foibles to keep him pleasantly human.
The novel isnât without some problems. The pacing is flat in a few places and some of the dialogue was forced. Most disappointingly, the ending feels rushed. But in a good way. I would have liked it more if Brandon had devoted at least twice the number of pages to wrapping the story up than what he did.
Itâs not a new and inventive story, so people looking for high adventure and a dozen plot twists a minute, beware. But it never purports to be that.
Swim the Moon is a beautifully told story about love and sense-of-self. It is a pleasure to read.
To escape his latest sorrow that his current residence reminds him of with every nook and cranny, and his bewilderment about fate, Richard plays his fiddle in gigs in the nearby pubs. Still feeling alone, he wonders if he finally is losing his mind when Ailish appears ecstatically dancing and singing under the seaside moonlight. Richard joins her music with his fiddle, but soon loses his heart and soul to this siren of the sea.
SWIM THE MOON is a beautiful fantasy that provides imagery rarely seen in a novel whether it is Ailish or Richard's music, or the Northern Scottish coast. Richard is a haunting individual tormented by his love-hate for the sea that holds the mysteries of his family and his new love Ailish. Though some of the dialogue seems stilted, perhaps because the story line is so beautifully written, Paul Brandon's debut tale is a throwback to the bards of yore when poetry painted landscapes of the soul.
Most recent customer reviews
One aspect that makes it unbearable is that the author is about the most pretentious writer as I have ever...Read more