The salt point is the place in the Hudson where the river changes from fresh to salt water. "It's always changing," says Chris, one of the three friends whose shifting affections are recounted in this subtle and accomplished novel. "You can't exactly fix it, but it's there, a point. But it's never the same." Set in Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1980s (this St. Martin's volume is a much-welcome reprint of the 1990 Dutton edition), The Salt Point
follows Chris, Lydia, and Anatole through the crisis that results from Anatole's discovery of a beautiful fair-haired youth that he dubs "Our Boy of the Mall." At first, it is Anatole who falls for Leigh, offering him a place to stay for a while, and respecting the young man's wish not to talk about himself, and not to be touched. But soon Leigh makes himself available to Lydia, as well, permitting her sex without the intimacy he enjoys with Anatole. While the friendship had once centered on Chris, the aloof and ironic focus of both Anatole and Lydia's longing, he now watches warily as his friends battle for the elusive Leigh. When Leigh shows up unexpectedly at Chris's music store, all Chris's good intentions, and his talent for withdrawal, come into question. Paul Russell, better known for The Coming Storm
, moves with ease between his characters, alert to every nuance of their conflicting loves and loyalties. --Regina Marler
From Publishers Weekly
Leigh, a teenaged hustler, enthralls Lydia, gay hairdresser Anatole and bisexual Christopher in this tale of alcoholism, drugs and shifting relationships set in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. According to PW, "Graphic homosexual encounters combined with some graceful writing might remind readers of Edmund White, although Russell doesn't aim to be quite so literary . "
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.