"Call of the Selkie" by Jennifer Hudock didn't make a lot of sense to me, until I looked up the meaning of "Selkie" in my dictionary. It is defined as being "a mythical creature that resembles a seal in the water but assumes human form on land." After knowing that, the book made perfect sense, and was actually quite good. The story is about a mother, father, and daughter, told from the point of view of the daughter. Late at night, after she's in bed, she hears her parents fighting every night. Some of what she hears leads her to believe that she is the cause of the fights, until finally one day her father just disappears, never to be seen again. The father had been an avid painter, and his studio was filled with his paintings, all of ocean scenes. The room even seemed to have a faint oceanic smell. Her relationship with her mother was never very good, and one day after she had moved out to her own apartment, she decided to go back to her mother's home and steal all her father's paintings. Mother went ballistic. After several more years of sometimes bitter conflicts, her mother died. Going through all the belongings in the house, she came upon something that finally allowed her to understand what all the fights had been about, and where her father had gone.
This story was interesting, even before I knew what a selkie was. The daughter's point of view seemed to mature as she grew older, which helped move the story along. In many ways it was a morose and very sad tale of a mismatched couple who fell in love, but could never get their personal lives to mesh. After the story was over, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of sorrow for the unfortunate couple and their equally unfortunate daughter. Although a selkie is a mythical creature, one can't help feeling that many similar marital situations exist, finally ending in broken hearts and homes. I recommend this tale; even though fictional, it presents a harsh dose of reality that people should really understand.