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The Salt Roads Paperback – November 1, 2004
The Daughter of Union County
To save his heritage, he hides his daughter’s true identity—but he can’t protect her forever. Learn More
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Ezili becomes entangled with Mer because the midwife's prayers helped draw her into the mortal world. The novel presents a reasonable, though undeveloped, connection between Meritet/St. Mary, the Virgin Mary, and the goddesses of Africa. However, it's not clear why Ezili becomes entangled with Jeanne Duval. This is because The Salt Roads is sketchy, its three storylines compressed; the novel reads more like three novellas incompletely braided. This is a shame, because each mortal character's life could have made a fine, full, fascinating novel by itself.
John W. Campbell Award winner Nalo Hopkinson's first novel, Brown Girl in the Ring, won the Warner Aspect First Novel Contest and the Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second novel, the New York Times Notable Book Midnight Robber, was a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, and James Tiptree Jr. Awards. The Salt Roads is her third novel. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Although these women exist during different time periods, Ezili seems to emerge, exist, and influence each woman simultaneously. With Jeanne, she appears in dreams, and wants to live, act, and breathe through her until Jeanne is physically scarred and disabled from the ravages of a sexually transmitted disease. Mer receives her awakening during a riverside burial ceremony of a stillborn child and Meritet has an instance of self-awareness that allows her to experience the independence of Ezili.
Aside from the Ezili storyline, each main character has her fair share of drama, heartbreak, and intrigue. Each are a victim of circumstance; in worlds that were cruel to the black woman. Mer deals with the harsh reality of plantation life and the impending slave revolt that secured Haiti its freedom from colonial rule. The author expertly embeds regional history and folklore into Mer's story. An aging Jeanne struggles with securing her future as a courtesan in a world in which her skin color places her at a disadvantage and Meritet journeys from whoredom to sainthood.
This book is full of symbolism (the incorporation of the value, taste, and healing power of salt, etc. throughout the novel is superb).Read more ›
For a long time I didn't like the fact that there isn't really a plot to this book, but by the end I decided it was a character study rather than a plot.Read more ›
Rich with historical detail and human intimacies, the book sometimes pulls back to a goddess-like view, contemplating the slow changes that have transformed women's lives over the centuries--but never losing its light, witty touch. In short, a very big novel with many finely crafted and exquisite parts.
When three Caribbean slave women, led by Mer, come together to bury one of the women's stillborn son, their powerful grief and prayers call the attention of Ezili, an African-Caribbean goddess. Using the unused life force of the dead child, Ezili moves back and forth across time, possessing and working her will through various bodies.
Jeanne is one of the goddess' most frequent vehicles--mainly because Ezili finds herself inexplicably tethered to the beautiful French dancer. She is free to inhabit other bodies only when Jeanne, slowly dying of syphilis, is in a deep dream state. Ezili plants the seeds of revolution in Saint Domingue through Mer, and sends Meritet on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
What all these women have in common is salt--in all its various forms. Whether the salt of tears, the salt of the ocean, or the salt of sweat, the goddess travels the Salt Roads to accomplish her goal. The question is "What is her goal?" Not even Ezili fully understands at first, but as she grows more powerful, and comes to know the many aspects of herself, all is revealed--both to her and the reader.
Author Nalo Hopkinson beautifully weaves her stories together in a broken narrative, jumping back and forth through time and between characters.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's wonderfully written, the beginning of the novel was difficult to folloe because of the time jumping but once the feel of it is grasped the plot moves effortlessly.Published 5 months ago by Nicole
A friend gave me this. I certainly wouldn't buy it. It switches back and forth between the Caribbean and Paris, where Baudelaire's mistress, the mulatto woman, lived. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Janster
This is my least favorite by this author. So far. It bounced around just enough to frustrate me. I liked the individual stories a lot.Published 13 months ago by K. P. Cunningham
This is a "can't put it down" novel that takes the reader across time and continents to tell many stories of the oppressed and the enslaved, while telling a meta-story of... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Cherie A. Turpin
Sadly, bodily functions don't do it for me.
This tale has the content of a short story, split between historic Paris, ancient Egypt and colonial Caribbean for no clear... Read more
Told through the eyes of three women that are linked by the love goddess, Elizi of voodoo. Elizi travels through time to possess each woman. Read morePublished 16 months ago by S. Mahaffey
Nalo Hopkinson not only brings a much needed, and lacking, perspective to speculative fiction, but does it in a truly captivating way. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J Dot
Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican-born Canadian. Some aspects of The Salt Roads incorporate Carribean (particulalry Haitian) mythology. Read morePublished 17 months ago by TChris