Love Like Salt

A Memoir

Helen Stevenson,

Love Like Salt: A Memoir
 
 

CHOSEN BY MAGGIE O'FARRELL IN THE GUARDIAN AS ONE OF HER BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR


'It's a slice of a life . . . a complex, intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, rather lyrical book' -Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

'A moving treatise on inheritance, not just of a disease like cystic fibrosis, but of our attitudes to living and loving, our sense of cultural and familial landscape, and how these intangibles pass down through generations. Stevenson picks apart her life like a strand of DNA to uncover just how we become the sum of our parts' Daily Telegraph

'A beautiful memoir . . . [Stevenson] is a novelist and a translator and her memoir is about translation in the larger sense. Translating the world is what we all do but she reminds us that one can hope - with a mind as intricately well read and original as hers - to translate misfortune; to absorb and see beyond it . . . Stevenson makes of poetry, fiction and philosophy a protective shawl for her story . . . Although intense she has a carefree wit' Kate Kellaway, Observer

'Love Like Salt is a human triumph ... Ultimately, Love Like Salt follows in the hallowed footsteps of Helen MacDonald's brilliant H is for Hawk or Cathy Rentzenbrink's The Last Act of Love. These are not misery memoirs but reminders that life comes in all shades - that in the darkest moments, beauty and humour can be found' Francesca Brown, Stylist

'Did Clara taste salty when I kissed her? She did. She tasted of mermaids, of the sea.'

Love Like Salt is a deeply affecting memoir, beautifully and intelligently written. It is about mothers and daughters, music and illness, genes and inheritance, writing and story-telling. It is about creating joy from the hand you've been dealt and following its lead - in this case to rural France, where the author and her family lived for seven years. And back again.

'I had always written, and until the birth of Clara I wrote for a living. Once I knew the Cystic Fibrosis gene had unfolded itself in our daughter's body, like a paper flower meeting water, I felt that to write, even if I had had time, or been able, would have been to squander a kind of power which was needed for tending and nurturing. Every moment became a moment in which I protected my baby. Some of it I did in secret, like a madwoman muttering spells. I thought of her as a candle, cupping my hand around her.

A beautifully written memoir, in the vein of H is for Hawk and The Last Act of Love, about motherhood, music and living the best life you can, even in the shadow of illness.



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