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The Salt Garden Kindle Edition

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Length: 320 pages Word Wise: Enabled Matchbook Price: $2.99 What's this?
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The lovely title of this Christian novel hints at its themes of shipwreck, youth lost and romance by the sea. In the waters beyond a small town on the Pacific coast, a shipwreck is being salvaged that will disclose secrets from the past. Martinusen (North of Tomorrow) tells her story from the viewpoints of three women. Claire O'Rourke is a San Francisco reporter recently returned to her small hometown of Harper's Bay for a short visit, but a contrived plot device leaves her back home for good and looking for work at The Tidal Post, a local newspaper. Her path soon intersects with that of Sophia Fleming, a 70-something reclusive author whom Claire has admired since childhood. When a salt-damaged book washes ashore, some long-buried secrets are illuminated through the journal entries of Josephine Vanderook, a passenger on an ill-fated ship. As the story unfolds, Martinusen introduces enjoyable characters: "Cap Charlie" is an old salt who makes lattes and espresso below decks; Claire's potential love interest, Griffin Anderson, is a scrap junk sculptor whose work is displayed on town roofs. Despite some good descriptions, Martinusen often overwrites ("glaze drips likes a lazy yawn onto the table") and the pacing, mired in description and wordiness, drags. The city-girl-returns-to-her-hometown theme has been done to death in CBA fiction, and the somewhat unfocused story never really takes off. However, Martinusen has potential, and despite the problems in this story, her talent shines through.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

There are places within us we do not often share...until our hearts find connection in extraordinary ways.

  • Claire O’Rourke--a 24-year-old writer dreaming of a glowing career in the literary world.
  • Sophia Fleming--an aging recluse whose painful past has kept her hidden away for decades.
  • Josephine Vanderook--a woman long dead, whose journal holds the key to a terrible secret.
For nearly one hundred years, a mystery has surrounded a shipwreck on the rocky coast of Orion Point. The shipbuilder’s wife, Josephine Vanderook, survived but her husband didn’t. Josephine’s memoir will unlock more than the mystery of that fateful night--her words of lost love will shape the lives of an elderly woman who has lost hope in tomorrow and a young woman who struggles to find her way.

Three women whose lives converge on Orion Point. As they discover the truth about lost love and buried secrets, they find new hope and healing...and strength to face the future.

Product Details

  • File Size: 742 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 11, 2007)
  • Publication Date: February 11, 2007
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Christian Publishing
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,905 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Paula Moldenhauer on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written story full of deep places and sprinkled with light mystery. Set on the West coast the novel weaves together the lives of three women around a lost story hidden in the depths of the sea. The women all have nuggets of truth to share with the hungry reader: Claire, a young writer, passionate, questioning, and growing; Sophia, an aging reclusive novelist, afraid yet stretching, wise yet guarded, real yet spiritual; and Josephine, a woman long dead whose journal touches on the mystery of the sunken ship and the mystery of God. I'm not sure I can explain how this book affected me. At one level it's a gentle story with a touch of intrigue. At another level it is a whisper of the soul. I found myself wishing for a highlighter as little phrases caught my attention and begged to be reread. I found myself thinking about such things as grace, prayer, the giving of self to something greater, and the pursuit of our souls, our passions and our God. These were the places my heart went as Cindy's beautiful writing style took me on the journey into the lives of her characters. I think I swam for a while, venturing into the depths. If you read the book, you'll understand that statement.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Janet Holm McHenry on June 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a novel that will challenge your thinking, I recommend "The Salt Garden." Cindy Martinusen has written a novel that makes you examine your faith--for the purpose of deepening it. Here are some examples:
"If only grace came without the need for it."
"There is something fearful in revealing our true selves, allowing others to peer intimately inside. It takes such trust, and none of us is completely trustworthy."
"The past is like a coat I put on every morning, defining me in many ways."
If a book doesn't make me think more deeply about life, God and who I am, it's not worth my time. That's what I loved about Martinusen's book.
I also thought her multiple first person narrators were an interesting trio. I related a lot to Claire, the city news reporter who goes home to her small town with an inflated view of her importance. We all need to learn we're wrong about others and life sometimes.
I highly recommend "The Salt Garden."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson on August 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
Martinusen is an underappreciated author. In the past, she's woven thoughtful suspense stories around WWII secrets; she's crafted characters we care for and can't forget. Here, in "The Salt Garden," she tries a different angle--with remarkable results.

Less overtly suspenseful, yet full of mystery and secrets, this book takes us into the hearts and minds of three women--a modern, frustrated reporter; a reclusive, elderly novelist; and a deceased journal writer. The threads of these women's stories intertwine, then pull tighter and tighter as more facts come to light. The pages are filled with beautiful imagery and thought-provoking introspection. Martinusen shows her skill, letting each character have a voice distinctly her own.

I believe Cindy Martinusen has many more tales to tell. Her heart for God, her struggle with the issues of life, and her honesty in the midst of it all lend weight to her words and emotion to each of her stories. More readers should take notice!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Seasoned Christian novelist Cindy McCormick Martinusen combines elements from so many fine genres, reminiscent of so many fine secular authors in her new novel, THE SALT GARDEN: seaside mystery elements like Victoria Holt, historical intrigue like M.M. Kaye, gentle romantic spirit like Rosamond Pilcher, and family interaction like Jodi Picoult. In this book, three characters (two living, one dead) alternate telling the story.
San Francisco reporter Claire O'Rourke is a young woman who has returned to her hometown of Harper's Bay ostensibly for a visit, but winds up staying and taking a job at The Tidal Post when family circumstances change. As she settles into what turns out to be a much-needed change of pace, her path crosses with that of Sophia Fleming, a once-lauded and now-reclusive author in her seventies who lives on a small island off the coast. The character of Josephine Vanderook speaks from the pages of a saltwater-encrusted diary that Sophia finds in a rock pool on her morning walk.
Soon the voices of these three women are creating a sort of call-and-response in their alternating pages. Although Claire, Sophia and Josephine have many differences, their common threads of loving words and writing as well as their devotion to God begin to bind them together and lessen differences of time, age and circumstance. Sophia, who has been hoarding the diary to herself rather than give it to the town museum, finds that the new young woman on the scene seems very familiar to her, and when she allows Claire in to her home and read the diary pages, the faith of the two modern women is contrasted with their historical counterpart.
Martinusen's central message seems to be that everyone's path to faith --- Claire's, Sophia's, Josephine's --- takes a different course.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christian Book Previews on July 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
<i>The Salt Garden</i> by Cindy Martinusen is a beautifully woven story of three women: Claire is young, and unsure of where her life is leading her; Sophia is a reclusive author who is questioning love and loss, and the choices she made so long ago; Josephine is a widow from a hundred years earlier, whose ship sank under mysterious circumstances.

The story unravels the mystery around the ship, as revealed through Josephine's recently discovered diary. Claire and Sophia are searching for answers independently, but Sophia's fears keep her in seclusion. They learn from Josephine's words as well as each other when God intersects their lives on a treacherous Pacific shoreline.
Marinusen's language is almost poetic in its beauty. She brings the truth of God's love to life within the pages of The Salt Garden. It's a book to be savored and lingered over. I highly recommend it. -- <b>Mary Connealy, Christian Book</b>
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