Under Her Skin


After her home is ransacked, her friend is attacked, and her white father suddenly reappears, Shaz is compelled to explore the racial divides in her life and in the city around her. In a narrative that explores racism, family dysfunction, and the experiences of refugees, Under Her Skin paints the canvas of our landscape, making us aware of who we are.


This is an engrossing story with a time signature all its own. With lovely lyricism, Stephen Law bravely imagines his way under the skin and into the heart of Shaz, a young tattoo artist struggling to reconcile old betrayals with new crimes, the demands of loyalty to her family with the terror of new love. A compassionate and thoughtful novel, it is shot-through with moments of breathtaking writing, as when Shaz witnesses a casual act of bigotry and wonders, “Was it living next to the sea that preserved old ideas?

- Semi Chellas, writer on The Romanoffs, Mad Men and The Eleventh Hour.

Stephen Law’s writing rings with compassion and curiosity—for his characters and about the human condition. His richly-peopled Halifax is infused with detail that brings this story to life.

- Stephanie Domet, author of Fallsy Downsies

A story of emotional challenges, family conflicts and fateful decisions that can happen in any community. Each character so vivid, I found myself wanting to be a part of their lives, helping them with their decisions or the challenges they were facing, journeying with them on their emotional roller coaster, wondering what would happen next. A must read!

- Barb Hamilton-Hinch, Dalhousie University