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The Salt God's Daughter
by Ilie Ruby


Overview - Set in Long Beach, California, beginning in the 1970s, The Salt God's Daughter follows Ruthie and her sister, Dolly as they carve out a life in a place filled with natural beauty, meteorological myths, and exotic folklore. Raised by a mother drawn to the ocean and guided by the moons, their heritage is a mystery and their mother often absent, forcing the two girls to confront the social and sexual mores of the time on their own, caught in the riptide of a culture that alternately glorifies and demonizes female sexuality.  Read more...

 
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More About The Salt God's Daughter by Ilie Ruby
 
 
 
Overview
Set in Long Beach, California, beginning in the 1970s, The Salt God's Daughter follows Ruthie and her sister, Dolly as they carve out a life in a place filled with natural beauty, meteorological myths, and exotic folklore. Raised by a mother drawn to the ocean and guided by the moons, their heritage is a mystery and their mother often absent, forcing the two girls to confront the social and sexual mores of the time on their own, caught in the riptide of a culture that alternately glorifies and demonizes female sexuality. Ruthie's daughter, Naida, is born into this conflicting landscape with a secret she tries to keep hidden, bullied and harassed by her peers as she seeks out the father she never knew. Woven with a traditional Scottish folktale and hints of Jewish mysticism, this examines how far we'll go to find our place in a world that is often hostile to those who are different.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781619020023
  • ISBN-10: 1619020025
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press
  • Publish Date: September 2012
  • Page Count: 338
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2012-07-09
  • Reviewer: Staff

Ruby’s second novel (after The Language of Trees) imbues the complex relationships between mothers and daughters with legends and feminist mysticism to create a confusing family history dotted with magical realism. Ruthie and Dolly’s mother, Diana, is dramatic and unreliable, part Pied Piper, part con artist. The family drifts (both girls’ fathers are absent and unexplained), but Diana finds herself drawn to Long Beach, Calif., where she’s a housekeeper at a motel and watches the omnipresent sea lions. There, the girls find a settled life until alcoholism and depression hasten their mother’s death and they move into the care of nuns at a home for teenage girls. The nuns are both overwhelmed by the worldly life of their charges and caring stewards of womanhood. As a young woman, with one brief marriage already behind her, Ruthie moves back to work at the motel, now a nursing home, where she falls in love with a mysterious fisherman she calls “the Salt God.” Family secrets and otherworldly powers slowly unfold until all is explained. Though Ruby’s writing is elegant and insightful, particularly in revealing the ways in which the mother-daughter bond can end in disappointment, the long time line and haphazard mythologies muddle the tale. Agent: Sally Wofford-Girand, Brick House. (Sept.)

 
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