In The Salt House, author Lisa Duffy masterfully takes us deep into the layers of emotions of the Kelly family as they work through feelings of guilt, responsibility and pain following a tragic family loss. The story is set in a small coastal fishing town in Maine where the Kelly’s are struggling. After losing their baby, Hope is paralyzed with grief; she is having trouble moving forward and is unable to return to work. She refuses to scatter the ashes and has been reluctant to continue with the renovation of the Salt House, the home the family loves and plans to move in to. Jack, a lobster fisherman, throws himself into his work on the boat, is rarely home with his wife and daughters and is neglecting his health.
Overcome with guilt, combined with the sorrow of losing a child, and the stress it put on the marriage, the Kelly family’s world starts to cave in. The daughters, Jess and Kat, are living and dealing with the loss of their baby sister in their own ways while baring the brunt of parental stress and disagreements — all while trying to grow up. The book is so well written from each character’s point of view, the storylines dig deep to expose their pain, past and current, and the family’s journey together sets an example for how any family member can rescue one another from debilitating hurt and grief, by facing it head on with truth and honesty.
I felt emotionally overwhelmed and shed many tears while I read The Salt House; a sign of a great book that really touched me. When I finished it I had feelings of renewal and hope for the future. At under 300 pages, this is a great book to pick up this summer…I loved it!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Duffy received her MFA in Creative Writing from The University of Massachusetts. She is a Pushcart Prize Finalist, and her work can be found in the Drum Literary Magazine. So To Speak, The Breakwater Review, Let the Bucket Down, and elsewhere. Duffy is the founding editor of ROAR Magazine, a journal supporting women in the arts. A Lifelong resident of Massachusetts, Duffy currently lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children. The Salt House is her first novel.