Cover Image: The Salt House

The Salt House

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Member Reviews

A poignant, sad and yet hopeful story about a young family in the throes of grief---each in their own way.  Beautifully  written, portraying  the themes of love, friendship and family.
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So sad, but I did enjoy it however.  Family trying to work its way thru grief.  Ties it all up well in the end.
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Lisa Duffy relates this family story through the eyes of its four members in alternate chapters. Through them we see how they each cope with the loss of baby Maddie.

Written with feeling, an emotional insight and a keen eye and ear for each character, this is a novel to be savoured and enjoyed.
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It has been a long, long time since a book made me cry, but The Salt House had me in tears. The characters are so richly drawn that I couldn’t help hurting with the Kelly family as they struggled in the wake of the unexpected death of the youngest daughter. I wanted to reach through the pages and hug all of them: Hope, the heartbroken mother who can’t let go; Jack, the desperate father who has thrown himself into his work; Jess, the teenager trying to stretch her wings and make her own life; and Kat, the assertive but often bewildered eight-year-old. Each of the four remaining family members gets a voice in the story, and author Lisa Duffy has done an excellent job of making each point of view unique. The story of their various attempts to heal is woven together with subplots of young romance and old grudges, and it all comes together into one beautiful, heart-wrenching package. (Also, I learned a lot about the life of a lobster fisherman, which was very interesting!)
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Full of beauty and sorrow at the same time.  Heartbreaking but also uplifting.  A tale of despair yet also one of hope.  All of these things together make this an unforgettable story. 

Hope and Jack have a great life.  They have three beautiful daughters, a nice home, a successful business.  Happiness.  But then tragedy strikes. And they are left with just two daughters.  Each family member copes, or doesn't, in their own way.  

A year later, they are at a standstill.  Time has put distance between them and their grief, but they haven't really moved on.  Jack loses himself in his lobster fishing.  Hope loses herself in the memories of her lost daughter.  And the younger girls just go on being kids.  

Everything comes to a head when a forgotten part of Jack's past shows up at their door.  High school rivalries are reignited, this time with adult consequences.  Through it all Hope and Jack struggle to move past their grief and save their family. 

Tragedies happen, families have to find ways to deal with them.   Told from alternating perspectives, this book takes us deep inside one family's grief and their attempts to overcome it.  Each family member is dealing with their own struggles along with the collective struggle of the family.  It's beautifully written, almost poetically so.  A story I won't soon forget!
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The Salt House is an emotionally powerful book set on the Maine seacoast that escorts you through the grief of a family after the youngest child dies. Lisa Duffy masterfully delivers a story with complex characters, not just the four main family members but also those whose lives revolve around them. The scenes of Maine are vivid, the emotions are raw and true, and when woven together make for a book that will keep you riveted to the end. It's a perfect book for summer, or for me, the winter doldrums!
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