Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Review: The Salt House by Lisa Duffy

In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this gorgeously written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful debut set during a Maine summer traces the lives of a young family in the aftermath of tragedy.

In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future. 

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Touchstone 
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Adult Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

This book captivated me. It was absolutely stunning. I fell in love with it after only a few pages. Honestly, I don't even know where to begin writing about it.

The Salt House was told through the point of view of each member of the Kelly family. The reader got inside the head of Hope and Jack (the parents) and Jess and Kat (the children) one year after the tragic death of the youngest member of the family. Each one of them was dealing with their grief in a different way and the family as a whole was struggling to keep things together.

This book was ultimately about loss and grief and figuring out how to move forward and carry on. Each member of the family had a story and a way of dealing with their sadness. Not all of them were healthy and there were many conflicts because of it. As the reader, I felt so many different emotions as I made my way through the story. From Kat's confusion and Jess' crush to the marital struggles of Hope and Jack, I was feeling it all. It is a sign of a great story when I feel the characters so deeply.

The setting of this book also deserves mention. The town of Alden, Maine and the Salt House were front and centre in the telling of this remarkable story. I could picture them both so clearly that I could almost feel the salt air on my skin. Duffy did such a wonderful job describing them that I wished I were there.

I would not hesitate in recommending this book to readers. With a moving plot and beautiful setting it is sure to satisfy any book worms literary craving!

About the Author
Lisa Duffy is the author of The Salt House, her debut novel. She received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and can be found in The Drum Literary Magazine, So to Speak, Breakwater Review, Let the Bucket Down, and elsewhere. Lisa is the founding editor of ROAR, a literary magazine supporting women in the arts. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.   

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