Book Review: ‘The Salt House’ Is A Gripping Look At Loss And How It Affects A Family

A loss of a child deeply effects a family in ways they never knew it could in Lisa Duffy’s new novel The Salt House (Touchstone; in stores Tuesday, June 13).

The Salt House is an ocean front house that’s been in the Kelly family for years. It’s being renovated for them to move into. Unfortunately when a family tragedy happens they may never live there. Life has been good for the most part for Hope and Jack. They have successful careers (he is a Lobster fisherman and she writes articles for magazines). They have three girls and are looking forward to their move.

Then about a year ago everything changed. Their little girl Maddie died by accident when a locket had fallen into her crib (no one knew about it) and she choked on it. The loss of the baby sent the family on a downward spiral. Instead of working through the grief it just manifested itself.

A year after the death Hope still hasn’t come to terms with it and has not started writing again (the loss of an income). Jack is working more and more on the boat to try and keep the family afloat (they are getting behind on their bills). He and Hope also are fighting a lot and their marriage is on shaky ground. There’s also their two other daughters who have been dealing with the loss (they seem to be doing a bit better).

When an old rival of Jack’s returns to town it stirs up old feelings and causes old grudges and issues to arise. Still reeling from the death of Maddie this could push the family over the edge or bring them closer together.

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