Title : The Salt House
Author : Lisa Duffy
Genre : Adult contemporary
Releasing on : 13th June, 2017
Goodreads summary :
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.
The problem with this book was the marketing (on the Goodreads blurb). Goodreads compares this author to Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova. I’ve read only one Lisa Genova book (Still Alice) so I don’t think I am qualified enough to pass my judgement as to how much that comparison is valid. But Jodi Picoult?? This book in no way compares to Jodi Picoult novels (which I’ve read many, many). The simple, pretty bland story of this book cannot even be compared to the morally ambiguos, riveting and emotionally-charged stories Picoult pens down. There’s absolutely no comparison.
So what basically happened? The Goodreads blurb naturally raised my expectations, and no wonder I was massively disappointed.
The book follows the four members of the Kelly family who are shook by a tragic accident in their past – and how they fight through their grief and make way to a happier life. The plotline is as simple as that, with a few secondary complications and storylines (for example, the romantic relationship of the older daughter of the household).
The problem with books like this is that they become boring after a while. Even though initially I quite enjoyed this book, it soon became boring. The story wasn’t compelling enough for me to actually care about whatever happened to the characters. The story didn’t pull me in at all : it sparked an initial interest like every other book does but as the book went on, the story got more and more boring.
The writing was mediocre, and I feel like the writing could’ve been the saving grace of the book : but it wasn’t. It was okayish writing and for a story about ‘grief’, it wasn’t too emotional either. The characters were well-structured and that was like the shining element of the book. They were well-written, well-developed and I liked every single one of them.
The setting was really good, I enjoyed it. I just wish the writing had the capacity to pull at my heartstrings a bit more – and the story was better. That would’ve made the book infinitely better.