Monday, May 21, 2012

The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker

In the isolated Cape Cod village of Prospect, the Gilly sisters are as different as can be. Jo, a fierce and quiet loner, is devoted to the mysteries of her family's salt farm, while Claire is popular, pretty, and yearns to flee the salt at any cost. But the Gilly land hides a dark legacy that proves impossible to escape. Although the community half-suspects the Gilly sisters might be witches, it doesn't stop Whit Turner, the town's wealthiest bachelor, from forcing his way into their lives. It's Jo who first steals Whit's heart, but it is Claire--heartbroken over her high school sweetheart--who marries him.

Years later, estranged from her family, Claire finds herself thrust back onto the farm with the last person she would have chosen: her husband's pregnant mistress. Suddenly, alliances change, old loves return, and new battle lines are drawn. What the Gilly sisters learn about each other, the land around them, and the power of the salt, will not only change each of their lives forever, it will also alter Gilly history for good.

This is a wonderful example of literary fiction with a touch of magical realism. There is just some really gorgeous writing in these pages which will captivate anyone who loves well written stories.

The characters are wonderfully crafted. We see them change and grow throughout the novel, ending in completely different places from where they started. That’s always satisfying for the reader. The Gilly sisters are fascinating to follow. Jo with her fierce independence and loyalty to the salt, and Claire with her ambition and need of freedom from the legacy she’s tied to. But it’s not only the sisters who are interesting, but all the characters who fill these pages. They all ask for attention from the reader, making the book a joy to read.

The story itself is lovely, infused with a sense of magic, ominous and fascinating, that will keep you turning the pages. The ending was a bit rushed for my taste, too many plot lines resolved in the space of a few paragraphs in kind of a slap-dash manner, but the rest of novel keeps a nice, steady pace that never bores.

I highly recommend this book, not only for the beautiful writing, but for the delicate weaving of these sister’s lives that rings with truth.

No comments: