Breathtaking and Poignant
By Ilie Ruby
Soft Skull Press, $25.00, 338 pages
The Salt God’s Daughter is one of those books that draws the reader in from the very first word and stays with them well past the last page. Moody, atmospheric and mythic, the book follows three generations of daughters, Diana, Ruthie and her sister Dolly and Naida. Each of them dealt their own set of challenges, each of them struggles to cope in different ways. The book starts during Ruthie and Dolly’s adventurous and unstable childhood with their mother, Diana. It follows the girls as they grow up and try to find their own strength and stability. The final section of the novel focuses on Ruthie’s daughter, Naida and her own search for her own voice and learning where she belongs. Author Ilie Ruby’s writing is breathtaking and seamlessly blends family drama, trauma and growing up with hints of myth and legend. The themes revolving around the relationship between mothers and daughters are universal, poignant and truthful. This is a beautifully done novel that is experienced, not just read.
Reviewed by Barbara Cothern