Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Salt God's Daughter by Ilie Ruby: A Review

The Salt God's DaughterThe Salt God's Daughter by Ilie Ruby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruby's THE SALT GOD'S DAUGHTER reads like an extended dream, this novel unlike anything else I've ever read. This story is written in a language somewhere between poetry and prose, about a world somewhere between reality and fantasy, and the characters somehow between human and mythological.

The story of three generations of women, it is also about motherhood and nature and the cruelties of humankind. Set in southern California primarily in 1970s and 1980s, most of the novel is dedicated to Ruth, the daughter of a bohemian mother who fails her daughters at seemingly every turn. But it also offers us Naida, Ruth's daughter. I found Naida to be the most endearing character, and my heart ached for her as she struggled to free herself from her own heredity and history.

It took me forever to read this simply because I wanted to linger over certain sentences. The lyricism reminded me in many ways of WE, THE ANIMALS by Justin Torres; the prose was so lush and rich.

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