Rating: 4.5 / 5
I heard a lot of good things about HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS by Erin A. Craig, so I was thrilled when it arrived in my Owlcrate Book Box in August along with some other seaworthy goodies! For a picture of all the box’s contents, see below! This is definitely a book I would have wanted to track down on my own and I was excited to read it!
In a great manor by the sea, Annaleigh lives with her sisters, her father and her step-mother. They live a sheltered life of privilege in their island home in many ways, but since the death of their mother in childbirth, Annaleigh’s sisters have been dying one by one, whether it be through illness, accident or their own hand. Rumors abound that the sisters have been cursed and Annaleigh too is beginning to believe there is something more sinister at play.
Deciding to break their traditional period of mourning, the family is eager to embrace life again. Annaleigh’s sisters begin sneaking out to dance very night, gaining access to fancy balls where they can dance and perhaps meet the man of their dreams. Annaleigh sees the appeal of these evening excursions and feels the pull herself, but she is also plagued by visions that no one else can see and horrible dreams that wake her in fright, adding to her feelings that there is something sinister at play.
I went into reading THE HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS knowing that it was a retelling, but not really knowing the story behind the Grimm Fairy Tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. The story begins with Annaleigh mourning yet another sister, bringing the reader right into the sadness and traditions of her family as they face this loss. Starting almost in the middle of the story really helped hook me into the characters and the narrative as the story moves forward, more slowly revealing more about their past tragedies.
This is a slower paced book for much of the story, but it never felt slow. It definitely builds up an eerie, gothic feeling as the horrible nightmares play out for Annaleigh. Knowing that she is the only one experiencing much of what she is going through ramps up the horror of it! The pace of the book definitely picks up in the later chapters of the book to.
If you haven’t had a chance to read HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS yet, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do! It is a perfect read for a cool fall day!