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A love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman. The sky opens up... I hear them laugh. They don’t feel the sadness in the air. They don’t fee A love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman. The sky opens up... I hear them laugh. They don’t feel the sadness in the air. They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind. In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold. Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish. Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world. But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.


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A love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman. The sky opens up... I hear them laugh. They don’t feel the sadness in the air. They don’t fee A love story set in nineteenth-century Norway, about a woman rescued from the sea, the fisherman who marries her, their tiny and unusually gifted daughter, and the shapeshifter who follows their every move, perfect for fans of Alice Hoffman, Yangsze Choo, Eowyn Ivey, and Neil Gaiman. The sky opens up... I hear them laugh. They don’t feel the sadness in the air. They don’t feel the danger coming, riding in on the wind. In the hinterlands of old Norway, Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold. Maeva tries to hide the girl from the suspicious townsfolk of the austere village of Ørken, just as she conceals her own magical ancestry from her daughter. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish. Following both mother and daughter from the shadows and through time, an inquisitive shapeshifter waits for the Fates to spin their web, and for Maeva to finally reclaim who she once was. And as Maeva’s elusive past begins to beckon, she realizes that she must help her daughter navigate and control her own singular birthright if the child is to survive the human world. But the protective love Pieter has for his family is threatening the secure life they have slowly built and increasingly becoming a tragic obstacle. Witnessing this, Maeva comes to a drastic conclusion: she must make Leidah promise to keep a secret from Pieter—a perilous one that may eventually free them all.

30 review for Becoming Leidah

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Is it just me or is this cover divine???? I got a good feeling about this one.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jonathon Neville

    While reading Becoming Leidah, I wondered: What am I ‘becoming’ as I read? How many dimensions of literary delight exist? I think I experienced all here: surprise after surprise – micro to macro – subtle yet electrifying. Riding the author’s imagination at times felt like I was flying in the most ecstatic parts of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. When we enter the mind of the child - an extraordinary child - it's like I'm experiencing childhood again - at a far more fabulous level than I ever knew. Not jus While reading Becoming Leidah, I wondered: What am I ‘becoming’ as I read? How many dimensions of literary delight exist? I think I experienced all here: surprise after surprise – micro to macro – subtle yet electrifying. Riding the author’s imagination at times felt like I was flying in the most ecstatic parts of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. When we enter the mind of the child - an extraordinary child - it's like I'm experiencing childhood again - at a far more fabulous level than I ever knew. Not just a fantasy, it’s very grounded in reality. Magical realism with an emphasis on both magical and real. At its core it’s a family drama. A love triangle - trapezoid? - with a kid at the centre. It brought me somewhere more nuanced, more mature – an integration that made magic more real. It invited self-reflection, and brought my life into greater perspective. If you hear that it is based on an old legend / myth, you might assume it's derivative. Quite the opposite. It re-imagines the original, bringing it to life, integrates another myth, and challenges both to be more than they ever were. (At least in historical record.) ----- I saw Becoming Leidah on a list of historical fiction. Fair enough. It certainly presents a deeply-researched time and place, and adds layers beyond factual or even speculative histories, so although it is not about famous people or events, it is historical and it is fiction. I’d also call it a mythical folktale, and, as mentioned, family drama. Perhaps like all family dramas, beneath the surface, it’s also a mystery. In this case, the mystery is not only what happened / what’s really happening in the story – it’s a mystery into humanity’s greatest mysteries. The book jumps between time periods and narrators, and although I have read books where that bothered me, here I loved weaving the story together. Still, I can imagine some readers finding it a challenge. Unreliable narrators and intentionally undeclared travel between worlds can make it seem like the story is inconsistent, when it’s actually just more layered than you might assume. Reading the jacket description, I wondered if it would present a stereotype of religion or men. Turned out I was the one doing the stereotyping. (I came to identify with both husband and wife.) The ending is highly poetic, and ambiguous – which might not work for people who want a clear ending / definitive closure. It’s not a cliffhanger – it is complete in itself – and yet, I would love to read a follow-up book – I want to explore where these characters go after growing to this point. Perhaps that exploration is up to me. I used to wonder to what extent / in what ways it would be true to say “With imagination, anyone can be rich.” Well, I’ve never been richer.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Jackson

    Update -- I created a discussion - see below the reviews. Questions about the book? Let's discuss. If it's easier, here's the url: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... ----------- 4.5 stars, maybe 5. In some ways a classic tale of separated lovers, but with radical twists, including revisioning Norse mythology. The review by Jonathan says everything I want to say - for now. Not only did I love reading this story, I feel it has changed me. I saw there's a 1-star review! That made me curious. I f Update -- I created a discussion - see below the reviews. Questions about the book? Let's discuss. If it's easier, here's the url: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/... ----------- 4.5 stars, maybe 5. In some ways a classic tale of separated lovers, but with radical twists, including revisioning Norse mythology. The review by Jonathan says everything I want to say - for now. Not only did I love reading this story, I feel it has changed me. I saw there's a 1-star review! That made me curious. I found the person has rated 7 books - a year ago one book got 5-stars; last week on the same day 6 books were given 1 star. Accident?

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Starry Library

    A supernatural love story encapsulates a small family as deep as the sea and as cold as ice in this debut story by Michelle Grierson. It follows Leidah, a girl born with blue skin and webbed fingers and toes who awakens to an ancestral magic that has her Mother guarding a tragic secret. Maeva, the mother, is hiding a mystery about her past that will have devastating implications for her entranced husband. Fate weaves a delicate web that is heartbreaking and unavoidable for the family, who must em A supernatural love story encapsulates a small family as deep as the sea and as cold as ice in this debut story by Michelle Grierson. It follows Leidah, a girl born with blue skin and webbed fingers and toes who awakens to an ancestral magic that has her Mother guarding a tragic secret. Maeva, the mother, is hiding a mystery about her past that will have devastating implications for her entranced husband. Fate weaves a delicate web that is heartbreaking and unavoidable for the family, who must embrace their ancestry, as the present and future are dependent upon their secrets coming to light. This was a beguiling tale about how love and loss can help someone to embrace who they are by remembering who they were, who they are, and who they are to become. It featured Norse mythology and some witchy elements that tied nicely together. It was part fable and part magical realism which read like an old forgotten legend. The writing was atmospheric and made me feel as though I was living on the edge of a wintry forest in Norway. Overall I felt the book was a little disjointed because I didn’t feel the story about the fates tied in with Leidah’s story that well. The elusive nature of Maeva for most of the book made it difficult for me as a reader to understand how it connected to the shapeshifter character. It seemed as though I was reading two different stories that were very loosely intertwined in some evasive way. That may have been the intention by the author, but I would have preferred if the connections between the characters were clearer earlier on. Not the easiest story to grasp, but original and suspenseful nonetheless. I look forward to reading more by the author.

  5. 4 out of 5

    rina

    This was interesting, it explored a part of Norse mythology that I’m not very familiar with. The storytelling was quite ambiguous, or at least the ending was. I really enjoyed the writing, setting, atmosphere, and Maeva and Leidah; they were the only characters I cared about here. Plot wise, I felt like quite a big portion was spent going in circles, but it did move forward at the latter part of the book. Nevertheless, reading this book was a unique and good experience. I'd recommend to those wh This was interesting, it explored a part of Norse mythology that I’m not very familiar with. The storytelling was quite ambiguous, or at least the ending was. I really enjoyed the writing, setting, atmosphere, and Maeva and Leidah; they were the only characters I cared about here. Plot wise, I felt like quite a big portion was spent going in circles, but it did move forward at the latter part of the book. Nevertheless, reading this book was a unique and good experience. I'd recommend to those who like historical fantasy and magical realism!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really liked the way Michelle Grierson's made the story of Leidah. And all the different ways Maeva tries to find her pelt and face from Pieter. It begins with Maeva sitting out on the rocks without her skin and Pieter hiding it from her. Taking her as his bride and seeming to make her pregnant. Seven years go by and she finally tells her daughter, Leidah some of the truth. Many things happen and we know that she was loved by a god. Michelle takes us between each of the three sisters who are i I really liked the way Michelle Grierson's made the story of Leidah. And all the different ways Maeva tries to find her pelt and face from Pieter. It begins with Maeva sitting out on the rocks without her skin and Pieter hiding it from her. Taking her as his bride and seeming to make her pregnant. Seven years go by and she finally tells her daughter, Leidah some of the truth. Many things happen and we know that she was loved by a god. Michelle takes us between each of the three sisters who are in charge of the worlds. Michell takes us in many ways which are delving on questionable mores. I liked the way she processes each step that she believes is fitting. It's a fantasy which she must of heard when she was little.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Yvette Donaldson

    Can’t wait to read this book!! Storytelling at its best!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Meghan (plethora_of_pages)

    Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson A stunning debut that has left me reeling! For lovers of magical realism/lyrical prose/folklore/historical fiction/Norse mythology or any of the above ...get excited! Set in old Norway, this story is told in alternating time lines - What Is and What Was. Maeva, rescued by a shipwrecked fisherman is now married to her rescuer and has a daughter born with peculiar physical attributes. The town is quick to judge any “otherness” and Maeva keeps her daughter close Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson A stunning debut that has left me reeling! For lovers of magical realism/lyrical prose/folklore/historical fiction/Norse mythology or any of the above ...get excited! Set in old Norway, this story is told in alternating time lines - What Is and What Was. Maeva, rescued by a shipwrecked fisherman is now married to her rescuer and has a daughter born with peculiar physical attributes. The town is quick to judge any “otherness” and Maeva keeps her daughter close to keep her safe. As her daughter Leidah grows, her unusual appearance is harder to keep quiet, as are her unique abilities. Maeve is struggling as she feels the pull of her true home. This story was WILD. Weird, wonderful, a slow-moving entrancing story that had me wrapped up like one of the Three Sisters’ webs. The beautiful imagery, the atmospheric beckoning of the sea, the mystery of Maeva and the picture that slowly emerges of her identity.. it’s magnificent. My caution is prepare to be confused. Really lean into the mythical storytelling at work, the back and forth narrators and timelines. It felt like standing close to a painting, where you are only seeing the textures and blobs, but as the story unfolds you are stepping back, getting a wider view; by the end you (mostly) are seeing the painting in its entirety. There’s a few images evoked that were just so intense and spectacular that I won’t soon forget this novel. I can’t say I truly understood the whole plot. I would love a physical copy to re-read as perhaps now that I know where the story is going I can better appreciate the journey. For me, this was a genre bending delight. Some parts were a tad repetitive, I had a whole lot of unanswered questions throughout, and I didn’t quite understand Maeva’s relationship to Leidah for the first half of the book. Given how much I enjoyed the experience though, this feels like nitpicking. I recommend this, but not unless you’re up for an experience as I described. I think this one will have two camps - those who LOVE it, and those who aren’t a fan of the style. It’s obvious where I stand 😂 A fantastic debut! This publishes April 13, 2021! Thank you to Netgalley and to Simon & Schuster Canada for free access to an e-arc of this novel. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amimuff, first of Her Name, Queen of Muffins

    It has happened again. I am lying on my back, flatter than bread. My mother's bare feet slap against my skin, across my belly, my chest. She digs her heels in, at my throat that isn't there. I can see her head turning towards her bedroom. Snores crawl under the closed door. The door to my room is open, but she can't see my bed from where she stands, can't see that my bed is empty. She nods to herself: everything is at it should be. Her foot grinds into my chin. The door to the sewing room closes It has happened again. I am lying on my back, flatter than bread. My mother's bare feet slap against my skin, across my belly, my chest. She digs her heels in, at my throat that isn't there. I can see her head turning towards her bedroom. Snores crawl under the closed door. The door to my room is open, but she can't see my bed from where she stands, can't see that my bed is empty. She nods to herself: everything is at it should be. Her foot grinds into my chin. The door to the sewing room closes behind her. I struggle to sit up. I wiggle my hips and jiggle my legs. It is no use. I am stuck, pressed flat into the grain of wood under me. But it's not under me. It is me. I have become the floor. Leidah is a shapeshifter in old Norway, born with webbed hands and feet, who must learn to control her ability to move between the Nine Worlds. If you've ever dabbled in the world of Norse or Celtic mythology, you'll most likely be familiar with the tale of the fisherman's wife. Becoming Leidah is such a bizarre, and original retelling of the tale. The writing is compelling and peculiar, with a large dose of strangeness. You're probably noticing a pattern in the adjectives I use to describe this novel. Yes, it definitely leans towards the weird side, but I don't mean this in a bad way. That's actually the charm of it! I think the best way to describe this novel is to compare it to an abstract painting. Abstract paintings use vague shapes, colors, and forms to evoke an emotion from the viewer, but it's not quite clear how it should be interpreted. Becoming Leidah gives you glimpses of scenes and thoughts, never fully showing you the entire picture. The story is told in a way that makes time seem to fold in on itself, with alternating timelines and points of view. You'll have to prepare to be confused, but the quietly thrilling way it presents question after question will subtly urge you to continue reading. The answers are elusive, and you may not ever get the answers you're looking for, but you'll still feel satisfied because the journey itself was rewarding. Overall, I would have preferred to have a less ambiguous ending, and clearer answers, but in a story that derives its allure to the visionary, abstraction has its own beauty. This is such an impressive debut novel from Michelle Grierson, who has already developed a unique style of magic realism. Looking forward to her future books! Rating: 4/5! Wonderful storytelling.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah-Hope

    Michelle Grierson's Becoming Leidah is one of those titles that does something so new and so unexpected that it almost leaves the reader open-mouthed and astounded. The setting may be familiar for readers of historical fiction: a small, isolated fishing village in 19th Century Norway where Christianity and the "old ways" both overlap and conflict. But Grierson does something remarkable with that setting. The book jumps back and forth in time with multiple chapters titled "What Was" and another se Michelle Grierson's Becoming Leidah is one of those titles that does something so new and so unexpected that it almost leaves the reader open-mouthed and astounded. The setting may be familiar for readers of historical fiction: a small, isolated fishing village in 19th Century Norway where Christianity and the "old ways" both overlap and conflict. But Grierson does something remarkable with that setting. The book jumps back and forth in time with multiple chapters titled "What Was" and another set of chapters titled "What Is." The "What Was" chapters show readers how a fisherman came to be married to a woman not completely human. The "What Is" chapters are presented in the voice of that couple's daughter, Leidah: an unusually small girl with blue, webbed hands and feet. Several chapters are narrated by Odhinn (Odin), one of the Gods of Norse mythology, who in Becoming Leidah takes on different animal forms as the book progresses. Over time, the reader assembles the entire story, myth and "reality," with frequent glimpses into individual characters that significantly change the way they're perceived. Grierson's prose voice is lyrical and varied. Becoming Ledah is the kind of book a reader slows down for because compelling as the plot is, the language demands to be savored. One could read the novel in a few hours, but I expect most readers will choose to stretch it out over a longer time. Whether or not one is interested in Norse mythology Grierson's particular, magical version of that mythology is something that stays with the reader after the book is completed: a sort of half-world teetering between the struggles of everyday life and the unfathomable. This is a book to buy now and to read more than once. I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via EdelweissPlus. The opinions are my own.

  11. 5 out of 5

    gwendalyn _books_

    _________________ Please excuse any grammatical errors, or typos. I have done my best, but in reality I am just reader. and will leave the writing to all the incredible authors out there. This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. Th _________________ Please excuse any grammatical errors, or typos. I have done my best, but in reality I am just reader. and will leave the writing to all the incredible authors out there. This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This is a non spoiler review, because you as reader need to read this book. Also, I feel sometimes I have in the past gave away to much of the plot line. This has diminished the pleasure for would be readers. __________________ This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. . Set during the times when men were leaving behind the old ways of their forefathers, and embracing the new faith of a singular God. Becoming Leidah by Michelle Grierson is an absorbing historical fiction that is weaved with magical realism and infused with Norse folklore. . A highly compulsive read, with multi POV’s narration and stunning lyrical prose. When a young woman is rescued from the sea and brought to small fishing village in Norway during the 19th century. Maeve marries the fisherman who rescued her and by and by they have a child. The takes weaves seamlessly back and forth from the beginning of Maeve’s new life and details of experience when she is first brought to the village. And that of her strange eight year old daughter, and all the pertains to her struggles as she is growing older. .. I loved the way the plot unfolded. along with beautiful writing. I was completely invested in the storyline and read this book way past my bedtime and into the wee hour of dawn. An engaging brilliantly written book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Heather Ritson

     I'm attempting to show I liked this book even though I gave it three stars. I recently watched all the marvel movies (22 movies in a small number of days which I'm proud of) and Thor is from Asgard. I felt really excited to see that Norse mythology was brought up to me again by our book pick choice. The book says becoming Leidah but really it is more of her mother's story to me. How she was raped..which I went back and forth on in the beginning because of the scene described was not apparent to m  I'm attempting to show I liked this book even though I gave it three stars. I recently watched all the marvel movies (22 movies in a small number of days which I'm proud of) and Thor is from Asgard. I felt really excited to see that Norse mythology was brought up to me again by our book pick choice. The book says becoming Leidah but really it is more of her mother's story to me. How she was raped..which I went back and forth on in the beginning because of the scene described was not apparent to me until further into the book that it was definitely rape. Then taken and forced to be a human,has a daughter, and tries to keep her secret hidden. I was really confused a lot during the story and reread sentences and even some chapters to understand more. I don't know if the author made it chaotic to read or my reading ability is a little slow compared to others. I really struggled with understanding what I read or what was going on during certain scenes. I basically now know she is a selkie which was hinted but not having any understanding of Norse mythology if was clicking for me. I don't exactly know what Leidah is but when I finished I gathered her father was a God. I also realize now Maeva told the story to Leidahof magical people and gods getting together to have kids for a reason. I had to talk about this book with two friends and google Norse mythology to finally grasp the book. After that,I did find it a beautiful story. It's really about a woman taken from her first love and forced to marry a human. She forgets what she is and wear she came from in trying to cope in being a human herself. She has a daughter which pushes her to be honest with herself and find freedom for the both of them. I want to reread it again after I read Norse mythology by Neil Gaiman. I think this book is a miss for people without basic understanding of this type of mythology. It is like if you watched/read Lord of the Rings and had no concept of what any of these people are (magically) and the purpose of the journey. You would just be like wtf is up with this damn ring and why is everyone a psycho. So three stars but could be four or five with background.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Just right off the bat, TW for rape in this book. There is no trigger warning for it which is understandable as it is an Adult Fiction book, but still wanted to put it out there for anybody who might need it. Okay, so I loved this book so much. Selkie folklore is some of my favorite and I rarely come across any Adult Fantasy/Magical Realism novels that use selkies as a source of inspiration. This is set in Norway and blends the selkie folklore of that region with Norse mythology which I never kn Just right off the bat, TW for rape in this book. There is no trigger warning for it which is understandable as it is an Adult Fiction book, but still wanted to put it out there for anybody who might need it. Okay, so I loved this book so much. Selkie folklore is some of my favorite and I rarely come across any Adult Fantasy/Magical Realism novels that use selkies as a source of inspiration. This is set in Norway and blends the selkie folklore of that region with Norse mythology which I never knew I needed, but I loved it. Grierson has such lyrical and beautiful prose and that added to the narrative just worked really well for me. I loved the multiple perspectives we got from the characters which could have easily gone wrong in the way of GRRM but Grierson handles the multiple perspectives and the alternate chronological narratives deftly. Never once did I feel overwhelmed or confused by the narratives which, I think in the hands of a less attentive writer would have happened. I love LOVE Maeva, like I would die for her. Her narrative and story line are just beautiful and tragic. But so much of it works even when you're crying and unsure of her future. And then Leidah, I just love this girl. Grierson wrote from this 8 year old girl's perspective and never once did it come across as too precocious or even too child-like like most writers who attempt to write from a child's perspective. Leidah's curiosity and big heart just made my heart swell. All of the characters felt really well-developed and real which I think is important especially in a novel that is using folklore and mythology as a foundation. I recommend this book SO MUCH. There is so much about it that I loved on top of the fact that it uses selkies.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Becoming Leidah is a magical realism tale written by Michelle Grierson. Set in nineteenth century Norway – a time and place still deeply entrenched in superstition, in which the clash between the Norse Paganism and Christianity was still culturally present. The narrative shifts from Maeva, an ostracized and mysterious woman with a magical, yet nearly forgotten past, her husband Pieter, a mortal fisherman with dark secrets of his own, and Leidah, their magically gifted blue-skinned daughter, and a Becoming Leidah is a magical realism tale written by Michelle Grierson. Set in nineteenth century Norway – a time and place still deeply entrenched in superstition, in which the clash between the Norse Paganism and Christianity was still culturally present. The narrative shifts from Maeva, an ostracized and mysterious woman with a magical, yet nearly forgotten past, her husband Pieter, a mortal fisherman with dark secrets of his own, and Leidah, their magically gifted blue-skinned daughter, and an array of characters including the Norns themselves, Odin, an outcast village midwife, and a witchy gypsy. The cast of characters make up the knots tied on the rope of fate, illustrating the simultaneous nature of time as it is perceived by the gods and other magical beings. Becoming Leidah is written rather well. Grierson has a wonderful way of words – especially for description, making the ordinary seem magical. Although the non-linear nature of the narrative may confuse some readers, as the novel progresses on, the reader will obtain more of a sense of the order of events as the end is the beginning and the beginning is the end, which is wonderfully executed by Grierson. All in all, Becoming Leidah is a beautiful written story about gods, myths, and coming into one's own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Gordon

    Thank you to Netgallery and Simon Schuster for this ARC! If you enjoy mystical Folklore look no further! This book is a mix of history, fiction, mystical folklore, and Norse mythology. The cover itself is beautiful and mystical, which is what made me what to pick it up and read it initially! This beautiful story takes place in a little fishing village in Norway and is told in alternating time lines-“what was” and “what is” (which usually would bother me, but it didn’t with this book!) Maeve is a Thank you to Netgallery and Simon Schuster for this ARC! If you enjoy mystical Folklore look no further! This book is a mix of history, fiction, mystical folklore, and Norse mythology. The cover itself is beautiful and mystical, which is what made me what to pick it up and read it initially! This beautiful story takes place in a little fishing village in Norway and is told in alternating time lines-“what was” and “what is” (which usually would bother me, but it didn’t with this book!) Maeve is a young woman who is rescued by a fisherman. Maeve and her fisherman rescuer marry and have a child. Leidah is a peculiar child with the ability to shape shift-has blue limbs, and webbed hands and feet. This story is Strange, weird, mystical, has family drama, a triangle—-all the above! This is not a fast pace moving story-but rather slow, beautiful, and weird! Be prepared to be a bit confused at times. Don’t rush through this one-take your time with it, really grasp the mythical storytelling. As another reviewer said-this will be one that you either love, or hate. For a debut author the writing is definitely beautiful and enticing. However, the ending left me with questions and wanting more than I got. I recommend this if you like slower paced, mystical realism and folklore novels.

  16. 4 out of 5

    JB Lynn

    Was not expecting this to be a one-sitting read; but that's what it was. I simply could not put this down and the story gripped me immediately and would not let go. I certainly hope this debut author's work gets a lot more attention because this re-imagining of an old selkie tale was expertly done. Normally I'm not a fan of stories that are told by alternating between what's "present" for the story and a series of flashbacks, but Michelle Grierson really made it work to her advantage by building Was not expecting this to be a one-sitting read; but that's what it was. I simply could not put this down and the story gripped me immediately and would not let go. I certainly hope this debut author's work gets a lot more attention because this re-imagining of an old selkie tale was expertly done. Normally I'm not a fan of stories that are told by alternating between what's "present" for the story and a series of flashbacks, but Michelle Grierson really made it work to her advantage by building the suspense in the story. This story is rich with the dark and brooding atmosphere embodied in the clichéd "it was a dark and stormy night" and you'll probably find yourself wanting to wrap up in a blanket to keep warm; regardless of the season. Each of her characters felt rich and fully-developed, and even the "villains" while absolutely horrible, were at least given a chance for you to see their side and at least believe in what was motivating them to behave so badly. Leidah was an absolute, precious gem and the love she held for both of her parents, even as their secrets were tearing them apart, was just heart-breaking. Even more heart-breaking? There aren't more Michelle Grierson books for me to read. Yet.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Honour

    Becoming Leidah is for the wanderers, the women, the faeries, and the witches. It is an epic and harrowing journey home, a song over the bones, reminding us of the awe and wildness where humanity meets the mystical. This book is an ode to love, birth, rebirth, death, and the relentless ebbs and flows of life, pulling us back and forth and forward all at once. It is a true culmination of the myths and stories we hold onto, weave for ourselves, and are subject to as women throughout the ages. I re Becoming Leidah is for the wanderers, the women, the faeries, and the witches. It is an epic and harrowing journey home, a song over the bones, reminding us of the awe and wildness where humanity meets the mystical. This book is an ode to love, birth, rebirth, death, and the relentless ebbs and flows of life, pulling us back and forth and forward all at once. It is a true culmination of the myths and stories we hold onto, weave for ourselves, and are subject to as women throughout the ages. I recommend this book to anyone who has looked up at the trees in the forest and wondered about what was inside; who has swum the depths of the sea admiring the otherworldliness of shells and creatures; or who has felt the curious pang of learning that your mother was a person with another life before you came into their world. Michelle Grierson is an impeccable writer and fearsome storyteller, and anyone who picks up her book will be reminded of the wild things, the yearnings of the heart, and the echo of the gods in the wind and the water. PS. I will never walk on wooden floorboards the same ;)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Garcia

    🌟🌟🌟💫 Settling on 3.5 stars at the moment but I think after a few days of pondering I may bump it up to a 4. Whilst I did find this extremely confusing to get into, once I did, it was a delight. The writing itself is stunning, a joy to read. I just found the plot a little tricky to follow. Perhaps that’s because of my lack of knowledge on Norse mythology/folklore/fantasy and not a problem with the book itself. This is not a particularly light read, the change of timelines/narratives requires your f 🌟🌟🌟💫 Settling on 3.5 stars at the moment but I think after a few days of pondering I may bump it up to a 4. Whilst I did find this extremely confusing to get into, once I did, it was a delight. The writing itself is stunning, a joy to read. I just found the plot a little tricky to follow. Perhaps that’s because of my lack of knowledge on Norse mythology/folklore/fantasy and not a problem with the book itself. This is not a particularly light read, the change of timelines/narratives requires your full attention in order to follow it. It’s not a particularly long book, but it took me much longer to read this than some other much longer novels. I was happy with this however, as every page was written so beautifully I enjoyed absorbing every detail. The ending left me a little bewildered. I still have many unanswered questions but again, this could be due to my lack of knowledge on the subject matter. I will investigate more for my own peace of mind. I’ve waited for this book since first seeing the beautiful cover in December. It did not disappoint. 💕

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    With its lyrical, poetical verse and haunting, ethereal atmosphere, Becoming Leidah, is going to appeal to the reader who enjoys a story with slow, purposeful pacing and a good dose of weird. Never quite knowing exactly what is happening in this strange little story about a magical girl with webbed, blue appendages and her mother who is flaking patches of skin and collecting it to sew into a quilt … was a bit overwhelming at times, but I truly loved the beautiful writing on display here that kep With its lyrical, poetical verse and haunting, ethereal atmosphere, Becoming Leidah, is going to appeal to the reader who enjoys a story with slow, purposeful pacing and a good dose of weird. Never quite knowing exactly what is happening in this strange little story about a magical girl with webbed, blue appendages and her mother who is flaking patches of skin and collecting it to sew into a quilt … was a bit overwhelming at times, but I truly loved the beautiful writing on display here that kept me eagerly flipping pages. The book beats with a pulse of quiet urgency as you, the reader, are desperate to figure out the mystery of what is happening and how all things will connect - which they do, but in a somewhat open ended way. Combining historical fiction, magical realism, and Norse mythology this is a truly unique reading experience that defies classification. For those who aren’t put off by the unconventional, this is a fascinating and exquisitely singular read that had me riveted from the first page. Thank you to Simon & Schuster for my advance copy to review!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Set in the 1800's of Norway this is the story of acceptance and family. Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a r Set in the 1800's of Norway this is the story of acceptance and family. Leidah Pietersdatter is born blue-skinned, with webbed hands and feet. Upon every turn of season, her mother, Maeva, worries as her daughter’s peculiarities blossom—inside the root of the tiny child, a strange power is taking hold. And Maeva’s adoring husband, Pieter, wants nothing more than for his new family to be accepted by all. But unlike Pieter, who is blinded by love, Maeva is aware that the villagers, who profess a rigid faith to the new God and claim to have abandoned the old ways, are watching for any sign of transgression—and are eager to pounce and punish. This book has magic and shapeshifters and lovers of the paranormal and magic will enjoy the story. Myths and legends play a big part of the story. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Gray

    I'm not sure how best to categorize this folkloric tale of Maeva, her husband Pieter, and their daughter Leidah. It's told in several time lines and set in a small Norwegian town in the 1700s. when spells and fear ruled. Maeva rescues Pieter when his ship capsizes and he brings her home. While others in the town finds her odd, its the woman who thought he was hers that is most distressed. Leidah, born after an arduous labor, has webbed hands and feet and blue limbs. There's also a mysterious for I'm not sure how best to categorize this folkloric tale of Maeva, her husband Pieter, and their daughter Leidah. It's told in several time lines and set in a small Norwegian town in the 1700s. when spells and fear ruled. Maeva rescues Pieter when his ship capsizes and he brings her home. While others in the town finds her odd, its the woman who thought he was hers that is most distressed. Leidah, born after an arduous labor, has webbed hands and feet and blue limbs. There's also a mysterious force that hovers. There's some lovely imagery and writing but I got lost among the time lines among other things. Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC. I don't think I was the right reader for this but those who like fables, folklore and magical realism should give it a read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters, the world that was created, and the plot. What I found underwhelming was the prose. The writing was so basic and barebones. For this story, I felt like a little more imagery and the writing would have matched the plot. I could imagine this same story being retold by different authors with more eloquent, descriptive prose and it being stunning. I’d recommend this book to anyone looking for a easy, simple read with an interesting plot.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Skidmore

    3.5 In Old Norway Leidah is born blue-skinned with webbed hands and feet. Her mother Maeve worries every year as new peculiarities grow and tries to hide her from the town. Her husband Pieter wants nothing more than his family to be accepted in a town that is set in old ways. As the years go on Maeve is trying to help her daughter navigate and control her birthright and what she truly is. She finally comes to the conclusion that Leidah must keep these secrets from Pieter and takes drastic steps t 3.5 In Old Norway Leidah is born blue-skinned with webbed hands and feet. Her mother Maeve worries every year as new peculiarities grow and tries to hide her from the town. Her husband Pieter wants nothing more than his family to be accepted in a town that is set in old ways. As the years go on Maeve is trying to help her daughter navigate and control her birthright and what she truly is. She finally comes to the conclusion that Leidah must keep these secrets from Pieter and takes drastic steps to free them all. This is a very creative and unique book. Its magical realism with a little Norse Mythology thrown in. The story is written in past and present timelines which does get a little confusing at times. I think if you are someone that likes magical realism and folklore you will really enjoy this book. The authors writing in this one is almost lyrical and she does a great job engaging you with the story

  24. 5 out of 5

    Allessandra Mazza

    I read this novel in 3 days, it was easy to get through! The different perspectives keep you guessing on what is really happening in the novel. The Norse mythology is interesting and is smoothly incorporated in the story. However, I personally disliked how every chapter was from someone else’s perspective - because some of those chapters were super small and seemed a bit out of place. The ending because of this felt rushed to me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Bradshaw

    Beautiful but confusing at parts. Would give it 3.5 stars. The story is one of a kind. Really enjoyed the mysteriousness of the story and how it was unraveling. Just wish it was a little easier to follow at some of the supernatural parts. I was often lost trying to understand exactly what was happening.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aditi Ramaswamy

    The prose was lyrical, although it shifted into purple sometimes. I was captivated by the mythology (this novel brought in some of my absolute favourite legends). My main quibble is that the chronological jumps felt awkwardly executed; I spent the for the first few chapters quite disoriented before realising what was going on.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Creative Warrior

    I enjoyed reading this book. It was well-thought of and characters were perfectly described. This work definitely deserves more audience. You might want to check out N0velStar via Facebook to meet more readers and other writers who joined the team. You may then publish your other works in N0velStar to widen your horizon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dhea Anecito

    Awesome novel. I love it. You can join in NovelStar writing contest with a theme "WEREWOLVES" Prices are amazing! https://author.starlight.ink/essay/in... (PC) http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/... or email any of the following editors; [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] app.novelstar.top Awesome novel. I love it. You can join in NovelStar writing contest with a theme "WEREWOLVES" Prices are amazing! https://author.starlight.ink/essay/in... (PC) http://app.novelstar.top/index/index/... or email any of the following editors; [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] app.novelstar.top

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alexis (hookedtobooks)

    Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for the copy of this book. - Read if you like: magical realism and lyrical writing - This book is about a young woman who is rescued and brought to a small fishing village in Norway during the 19th century. Maeva is not what she seems though, and when she marries the fisherman who rescued her, she gives birth to a daughter, but her daughter does not seem to be entirely human. - The writing was absolutely beautiful and I loved the description of the plot and the inco Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for the copy of this book. - Read if you like: magical realism and lyrical writing - This book is about a young woman who is rescued and brought to a small fishing village in Norway during the 19th century. Maeva is not what she seems though, and when she marries the fisherman who rescued her, she gives birth to a daughter, but her daughter does not seem to be entirely human. - The writing was absolutely beautiful and I loved the description of the plot and the incorporation of the Norse Gods. The book was fast-paced and kept me intrigued through the entire book. I also really liked the past and present narratives, showing us glimpses of what happened when Maeva first came to the village, and then when her daughter is eight years old and what is happening to her. - CW: death during childbirth, violence against women.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I couldn’t finish this. I enjoy a bit of mystery in a book, but this just felt contrived. It didn’t make sense to me that characters would constantly have conversations where nothing was really said or explained or anything that was said just added to the pile of unexplained things the reader already had. I couldn’t shake the feeling that author didn’t really have a full explanation in mind. I wanted so much to like and made it to 70% but just had to give up in the end

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