Leah Greenblatt
September 14, 2011 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Taste of Salt

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Martha Southgate
publisher
Algonquin Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Growing up in shabby, landlocked Cleveland in a household ravaged by alcoholism, Josie Henderson finds escape in ”the pure blue pleasure” of water. Her fascination with the life aquatic eventually leads to an esteemed position as a research scientist, making her one of few black women in the cloistered field of marine biology. Still, the tidal pull of her troubled family — and the sad legacy of her father’s addiction, revisited upon her beloved baby brother, Tick — laps at the edges of her orderly life. In The Taste of Salt, Southgate writes with a minor-key melancholy that comes on softly, but lingers long after. B+

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