The Salt Garden
by Cindy Martinusen
Category: Fiction / General
316 pages; ISBN: 0842373640
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
The Salt Garden
Tyndale, May 2004, $10.99, 316 pp.
San Francisco News & Review reporter Claire O’Rourke is coming home to visit mom for a day when her car breaks down. Too dark to walk, Claire spend the night in her car. At dawn cold and dying for a Starbucks, Claire begins her walk towards Harper’s Bay. Her trek enables her to meet her childhood idol septuagenarian author Sophia Fleming.
Sophia has spent three decades hidden from everyone except for her only friend Ben Wilson, who refuses to allow her to become a total recluse. However, Ben sadly informs Sophia that his son wants him to move away and live with him; Sophia feels depressed that her only connection to the world might leave. Ben also gives Sophia a salt watered journal that apparently came ashore from the nearby salvaging of the wreckage of the Josephine. The book contains the diary entries of Josephine Vanderook, a passenger in 1933 on the Josephine when it went down. Claire and Sophia forge a friendship over dreams, the journal, and their different paths to God.
This is an entertaining character study that rotates narration between the two modern day women and the journal entries of Josephine. The story line enables the reader to contrast the trio. Claire has had an unwavering constant belief in God; Sophia found the healing of God after a tragedy left her practically a hermit; Finally Josephine in her shortened life marveled at the miracles God had provided her. Though San Francisco is portrayed as modern day Sodom while Harper’s Bay is Eden (with a serpent) fans of contemporary Christian literature will appreciate this deep look at the paths of faith.
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