Of Women and Salt

Of Women and Salt

3.79 (2,898 ratings by Goodreads)
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The New York Times Bestseller
'Extraordinary . . . stunning' Elizabeth Macneal, author of The Doll Factory
'Vivid details, visceral prose and strong willful women' Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana
'Vivid, engrossing, luminous' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti

Five generations of women, linked by blood and circumstance, by the secrets they share, and by a single book passed down through a family, with an affirmation scrawled in its margins: We are force. We are more than we think we are.

1866, Cuba: Maria Isabel is the only woman employed at a cigar factory, where each day the workers find strength in daily readings of Victor Hugo. But these are dangerous political times, and as Maria begins to see marriage and motherhood as her only options, the sounds of war are approaching.

1959, Cuba: Dolores watches her husband make for the mountains in answer to Fidel Castro's call to arms. What Dolores knows, though, is that to survive, she must win her own war, and commit an act of violence that threatens to destroy her daughter Carmen's world.

2016, Miami: Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, is shocked when her daughter Jeanette announces her plans to travel to Cuba to see her grandmother Dolores. In the walls of her crumbling home lies a secret, one that will link Jeanette to her past, and to this fearless line of women.

From nineteenth-century cigar factories to present-day detention centres, from Cuba to the United States to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia's Of Women and Salt follows Latina women of fierce pride, bound by the stories passed between them. It is a haunting meditation on the choices of mothers and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their truth despite those who wish to silence them. For fans of American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 143 x 224 x 28mm | 334g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529031516
  • 9781529031515
  • 19,985

Review quote

Gabriela Garcia captures the lives of Cuban women in a world to which they refuse to surrender and she does so with precision and generosity and beauty -- Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist I am a sucker for intergenerational family dramas and fraught mother and daughter relationships. Garcia's vivid details, visceral prose and strong willful women negotiating how to survive in this world are easy to fall for -- Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana Extraordinary. Of Women and Salt is a book that made me fall in love with reading again, that reminded me of the power and devastating effect that words can possess. It is a stunning hymn to the strength of mothers. The last book that made me feel this way was Girl, Woman, Other, written with the same generosity and compassion, its words (so elegant and understated) delivered like blows. I cannot stop thinking about it. -- Elizabeth Macneal, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Doll Factory I devoured it, and in return it swallowed me whole into the lives of women whose decisions mould and make each other. It's about mothers & daughters - fierce love and the terror that comes with it. How we save each other. How we save ourselves. -- Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of The Mercies This stunningly accomplished first novel is both epic and intimate. * O, The Oprah Magazine * A mesmerizing patchwork of determination, courage and survival. * Washington Post * The women in Garcia's striking debut novel are connected not just by blood but by the need to endure or escape abusive relationships and countries. She captures the hope and pain of immigration and the terror of deportation with an unsentimental yet empathetic eye * New York Times * A vivid, engrossing novel . . . it utterly absorbed me with its luminous, exacting prose and depictions of redemption and violence -- Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti A moving intergenerational epic * Refinery29 * A sweeping tour de force about addiction, displacement, and the legacy of trauma * Harper's Bazaar * Expansive yet intimate . . . this gorgeous debut heralds the arrival of a literary star * Elle * Gripping, accomplished . . . an interlocking portrait of women striving, loving, losing, getting lost and getting found * Lit Hub * The debut that's had publishing buzzing all winter long meditates on the way immigration shapes the lives of Latinx women * Entertainment Weekly * A fierce and powerful debut. Garcia wields narrative power, cultivating true and profound work on migration, legacy, and survival -- Terese Marie Mailhot, bestselling author of Heart Berries A stunning achievement. I loved its intensity, its scope, its vivid prose. An essential, profound story about mothers and daughters, the Latina Experience, and the indomitable beating heart of womankind. -- Emma Stonex, author of The Lamplighters An outstanding debut from a supremely talented writer, this story stayed with me for a long while. Spanning different time frames, and locations across the US to Mexico, the engrossing tale interlinks the lives of five Latina women living in challenging circumstances. A book about resilience, strength and empowerment * Prima Magazine * [A] deeply American story about the pieces of self people leave behind on their journeys to become "Americans" * San Francisco Chronicle * Of Women and Salt defies convention and sentimentality and chips away at all manner of myths . . . [it] reads like poetry * Vogue * An impressive debut about heritage, baggage, and needing the kind of 'love that erases everything that came before it' . . . [Garcia is] an outstanding novelist and an exciting new voice with a talent for bringing humanity to the page * Boston Globe * Wonderful . . . a captivating and harrowing debut that will undoubtedly put Garcia on the literary map for years to come * Seattle Times * Garcia's debut is slim yet lush, imbued with a harsh beauty * Oprah Daily * A tale weaved with pain, loss and strength, Of Women and Salt is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots * SUCCESS * An enthralling and important story . . . Garcia shines in her ability to ultimately emphasize the strength, the perseverance, of these Latinx women * The Nerd Daily * Highly anticipated . . . The intergenerational narrative tackles immigration, addiction, and sexual trauma with ambition and a poetic voice * Elle.com * Garcia makes a powerful statement about how we draw on our roots to understand our place in the world, showing that no matter how much we may try to escape the past, it always influences the present * Real Simple * A powerful novel from an eye-catching new voice * Bustle * An impressive, tightly braided whole. This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories * Publisher's Weekly * In her beautifully written debut, Gabriela Garcia presents a new classic of mother-daughter literature . . . quietly heartbreaking * BookPage * Phenomenal . . . readers won't want to put [it] down * BUST * This remarkable debut shines a brilliant light on the broken immigration system and legacy of trauma for the people who endure it * Ms. * Speaks to immigrant experiences in so many different ways. . . . Garcia demonstrates how migration can bring us closer together and tear us apart, how we reinforce borders all the time, how we fail each other * BITCH * A multi-generational story that, at its heart, is a tribute to imperfect mother-daughter relationships and the enduring strength of women * Stylist *
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About Gabriela Garcia

Gabriela Garcia is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award and a Steinbeck Fellowship from San Jose State University. Her fiction and poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Tin House, Zyzzyva, Iowa Review, and elsewhere. She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Cuba and grew up in Miami. Of Women and Salt is her first novel.
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Rating details

2,898 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 23% (663)
4 42% (1,208)
3 28% (817)
2 6% (171)
1 1% (39)
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