Sunday, August 26, 2007
Salt Rain - Sarah Armstrong
What if your mother filled your childhood with stories both of her life and yours that were not true? Stories that shaped who you became, who you believed you were?
And what if, while grieving the loss of that beloved mother, you discovered the lies and the fiction she had used in her story-telling?
You would experience yet another loss.
And if you returned to the place where those lies (and lives) all began, you would embark upon a journey of self-discovery as you uncover the truth.
For a fourteen year old girl, it is a tremendously difficult journey – even when surrounded by those who love you.
When fourteen-year-old Allie’s mother, Mae, mysteriously disappears in the dark waters of the Sydney harbor, Allie is taken by Julia – an aunt she barely knows – to stay at the dilapidated dairy farm where her mother grew up.
Allie’s journey ultimately leads her to the truth about both her mother’s past and her own – and to the knowledge that those untruths, those embellishments were themselves acts of love. A mother’s love – a fierce, protective love which, despite the “stories,” created a young girl who possesses the strength and courage to confront both the past and present and who is able to have hope for the future.
Lush rich landscapes (both exterior and interior) fill the pages of Sarah Armstrong’s novel Salt Rain. It was an absolute pleasure to read.
And what might the title Salt Rain mean?
I like to think it symbolizes not only the cleansing, releasing power of tears but the healing power of water itself – nature’s miracle – which cleanses and rejuvenates both the world and our souls.