Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Salt Garden Paperback – February 1, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
About the Author
Cindy Martinusen Coloma is the best-selling author of several novels including The Salt Garden, Beautiful, and Orchid House.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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. Some of the "big city, little city" contrast is overdone, and some of the characters, like the latte-brewing "Cap'n Charlie," seem a little too quaint. But the friendship between Sophia and Ben that blossoms into romance, despite some very real present-day and past obstacles, is beautifully drawn, as is the "romance" of working at an old-fashioned, slow-going but industrious newspaper for Claire. As Claire begins a relationship with town artist Griffin and her family faces a crisis surrounding her brother and a little girl he is protecting, Ben is facing a tough choice about retirement and Sophia seems almost lost in her solitude.
Yet the strongest element of this book has less to do with character details and plot points than it does with the author's own spiritual grace. On her Web site, when asked what she hopes to accomplish through her writing, Cindy says, "I definitely always want to glorify God in my writing. I don't want to lose touch with that --- to get so into the writing that I lose the fact that this is God's calling. I want to be able to balance both of those so it's like seeking God through the story." Martinusen's sensibility to the different spiritual stages of her characters sets this book apart from other Christian novels.
--- Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Also a serene read, it is one to be savored. Cindy's amazing desciptions of the small coastal town where the story takes place made me want to go there, even though it is a mythical spot. Her beautiful, moving details of the sea made me feel the wind whip through my hair and the waves bounce beneath my feet. The story kept my interest and I had to keep myself from looking ahead to see what happened.
It is told in multiple first person from three points of view: Claire - a young writer who returns home, not planning to stay; Sophia - a reclusive novelist who finds the world's pain too much to bear; and Josephine - a woman who, through her journal, reaches to the others from the grave. And it is Josephine, who is the catalyst that causes Sophia and Claire to reach beyond themselves, beyond their comfort zones, toward relationship.
The Salt Garden is the kind of book to take to that quiet place when everything is still. Then, with feet snuggled up and a cup of steaming Earl Grey nearby, open the covers, experience and enjoy.
Sophia has spent three decades hidden from everyone except for her only friend Ben Wilson, who refuses to allow her to become a total recluse. However, Ben sadly informs Sophia that his son wants him to move away and live with him; Sophia feels depressed that her only connection to the world might leave. Ben also gives Sophia a salt watered journal that apparently came ashore from the nearby salvaging of the wreckage of the Josephine. The book contains the diary entries of Josephine Vanderook, a passenger in 1933 on the Josephine when it went down. Claire and Sophia forge a friendship over dreams, the journal, and their different paths to God.
This is an entertaining character study that rotates narration between the two modern day women and the journal entries of Josephine. The story line enables the reader to contrast the trio. Claire has had an unwavering constant belief in God; Sophia found the healing of God after a tragedy left her practically a hermit; Finally Josephine in her shortened life marveled at the miracles God had provided her. Though San Francisco is portrayed as modern day Sodom while Harper's Bay is Eden (with a serpent) fans of contemporary Christian literature will appreciate this deep look at the paths of faith.
Most recent customer reviews
I liked the story, the characters, especially Sophia and Ben. This will be a book I share .