Sally Magnusson is a Scottish author and broadcaster. After focussing on journalism and non-fiction, including the Sunday Times bestseller Where Memories Go, she moved into fiction with the publication in 2018 of her debut novel, The Sealwoman’s Gift. Her second novel, The Ninth Child, was published by Two Roads in March 2020. Her third, Music in the Dark, is due out in early 2023.


‘An engaging mix of folklore and Victorian history’ (Sunday Times)

Pacy and accomplished, with a supernatural chill’ (The Herald)

‘An accomplished piece of writing, cementing Magnusson’s place as one of Scotland’s leading writers of historical fiction’ (Scotland on Sunday)

‘Extraordinarily vivid. Few books have this impact on me’ (Michelle Gallen, author of Big Girl Small Town)

‘An absolute triumph. I love the lively intelligent heroine and the brooding sense of menace throughout. (Sarah Haywood , author of The Cactus)

‘Wonderful. One never messes with the faeries’ (Melanie Reid, The Times)

‘A dramatic and magical novel, told with enormous zest and wit’ (Les Wilson, author of The Drowned and the Saved)

‘A very impressive piece of writing, drawing on a strong sense of place and a rich seam of history and folklore for its power’ (Donald Murray, author of As the Women Lay Dreaming)


Shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2019, the Paul Torday Memorial Prize, the McKitterick Prize, the Waverton Good Read Award, the HWA Debut Fiction Crown and the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year.  It was chosen for ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club and the Radio 2 Book Club.

‘Moving, accomplished … Richly imagined and energetically told, The Sealwoman’s Gift is a powerful tale of loss and endurance.’ (Sunday Times)

‘An extraordinarily immersive read that emphasises the power of stories, examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom.’ (Guardian)

‘An enthralling mixture of recovered history and the imagining of lost lives … this is the best sort of historical novel.’ (Scotsman)

‘Magnusson has found in the silences of the historical record the space for a novel that moves gracefully between what is known and what must be imagined…Much of the pleasure of reading The Sealwoman’s Gift is that of a good yarn well told.’ ( The Times Literary Supplement)

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