The Salt House

The Salt HouseThe Salt House by Lisa Duffy
Published by Touchstone on June 13th 2017
Pages: 304
ISBN: 1501156551
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In a small coastal fishing town in Maine and family is attempting to cope with the death of their youngest family member, Maddie, who died in her crib. This book details the family’s attempt to deal with their grief, heartbreak and to find a way to move on. This book is told through the family member’s voices. Hope is the Mother who used to be a writer but has found that she cannot write anything since her daughter died. Jack is a lobster fisherman who throws himself into his work to help support his family – even more now that his wife is not working and their relationship has suffered since their daughter’s death. Jess is a teenager watching her parent’s relationship suffer while attempting to have one of her own. She finds herself drawn to the son of her father’s rival. Kate is a young girl trying to make sense of her own grief and the grief of that of her family members.

A year has passed and Hope (her Mother) is having great difficulty moving on. She does not want to spread her daughter’s ashes and does not want to return to the Salt House – a home her husband (Jack) inherited and they are fixing up. Hope spent the last days of her daughter’s life at the Salt House with her and finds it difficult to return to where Maddie was conceived and spent her last day. She knows that this is affecting her marriage but feels stuck and does not know how to let go and continue her life. Jack is suffering in silence and works hard long hours not only as an escape but to take care of his family.

Their lives are further pushed to the brink, when Ryland Finn moves back to town and wants his old fishing grounds back. There is instant tension and hints dropped that past hurts/grievances/issues from their past have not been laid to rest but are festering beneath the surface waiting to explode and affect all of their lives. Jack has a secret that he does not want to share with Hope. Again, he keeps silent throwing himself into his work and doesn’t want to take the advice of his best friend who wants desperately to help.

This book is about a family trying to move on after a heartbreaking loss. Saying goodbye to a loved one and letting go are hard. How does one let go and move on? What power do secrets have over our lives? How do your forgive your past mistakes?

This debut novel was very moving and emotional. This is a beautiful and poignant book about love, loss, hope, friendship, moving on, and grief. As a reader, I could feel the family’s pain and loss. The characters (most of them)are likable and I rooted for them to find healing and peace a year after their loved one’s death. Nothing in this book felt rushed. The length was perfect. I felt as if I was riding on their sea of grief with them. Love, loss, grief, guilt, moving on are difficult themes which were discussed with grace and care in this moving book.

I received a copy of this book from Touchstone and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.