Salt and Skin
A family on the edge and a community ensnared by history.
‘Brilliant. With such a good ending, it had me slapping the back cover closed with utmost satisfaction and respect. Hard recommend.’
Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites and Devotion
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DESCRIPTION & REVIEWS
‘Until recently, there had been four of them. Unspeaking, the three remaining Managans lugged their bags into Ewan’s waiting car. Luda and her children were not staying in the ghost house on Seannay that first night. The window broken in the storm must first be fixed. Living on the islands means being in constant conversation with the wind; negotiating where it will and will not go.
The Managans do not know this yet. It is a lesson they will begin to learn a week later, watching the cliff collapse into the sea.’
Luda, a photographer, and her two teenagers arrive in the Scottish Northern Isles to make a new life. Everywhere the past shimmers to the surface; the shifting landscapes and wild weather dominates; the line between reality and the uncanny seems thin here. The teenagers forge connections, making friends of neighbours, discovering both longing and dangerous compulsions. But their mother – fallible, obsessive, distracted – comes up hard against suspicion. The persecution and violence that drove the island’s historic witch trials still simmers today, in isolated homes and church buildings, and where folklore and fact intertwine.
A compelling and magically immersive novel about a family on the edge and a community ensnared by history, that gathers to an unforgettable ending.
‘An astonishingly rich and intricate exploration of loss, love, ambition and redemption set against a backdrop of local myth and ancient island history – not least the long shadow cast by the island’s notorious witch trials three centuries previously. As the island’s supernatural past bleeds ever more into its present, it builds to a furious and fitting climax. A thrilling read.’
‘Salt & Skin is a thematically complex, hauntingly written book, rooted in the physicality of the landscape and populated by carefully crafted characters having conflicted relationships in which boundaries are continually probed and transgressed – between friends, parent and child, biographer and subject and possibly even this world and the next. The effect is compelling, and quite magical.’
‘A multi-layered, ambitious, and addictive novel, it weaves issues such as climate change, substance abuse and trauma with the ethereal.’
‘I adored this novel. It’s both memorable and mesmerising.’
‘An eerily beautiful novel about the erosion of land and human trust.’
The Gloss magazine
‘Let it cast its spell and you’ll be ensnared.’ Book of the Month
The Crack Magazine
‘Henry-Jones blends past and present, reality and magic into a compelling story loud with warning voices for our time.’
Sydney Morning Herald
‘[Eliza] has conjured a world that is hauntingly alive … an entrancing story of loss, redemption and love.’
Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek
‘With her dazzling prose Eliza Henry-Jones has created an astute portrait of a family on the edge and a community buckling under layers of history. Intense, tender and haunting.’
Anna Snoekstra, author of Only Daughter
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Also available in ebook.