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The Salt Road

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  811 ratings  ·  125 reviews
From the author of The Tenth Gift comes another story of exotic, foreign lands, entwining storylines spanning generations, and the quests to overcome love lost.

"My dear Isabelle, in the attic you will find a box with your name on it."

Isabelle's estranged archeologist father dies, leaving her a puzzle. In a box she finds some papers and a mysterious African amulet — but the...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Doubleday Canada (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,537)
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Mark Lawrence
The Salt Road is billed as a romance, and it may well be that readers who enjoy romance writing will enjoy the love story set out across two separate timelines in this book. I wouldn't classify The Salt Road as a romance. I don't read romance as a genre. For me it's an adventure, set in an exotic location, painlessly educational, a travelogue... lots of things. I.e. it can be enjoyed on many levels. I'll attribute that enjoyment to the exceptional writing and to the intimate knowledge the author...more
This book has an intriguing title which doesn't give any clues to what the book is going to be about which is why I entered for it on Goodreads First Reads, and when I won and it arrived I saw the cover and I just knew it was going to be a good book. The cover gives the impression of the east, which is where the majority of the book is set.
The book starts off by introducing the character Isabelle and her life so far, it is written well and we get to know the traits that Izzy has, and that the...more
This novel tells the stories of Isabelle Treslove-Faucet, once a wild tomboy but now a reformed, "grown up" corporate tax accountant, and the circumstances that lead her to travel to Morrocco to uncover her mysterious past, and Mariata, a Tuareg woman and desert wanderer who experiences a host of misfortunes and travails and must make a thousand-mile journey across the Sahara on foot to protect herself and her baby from an unwanted marriage. The two narratives are set about forty years apart in...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
Originally posted on Cozy Up With A Good Read

This was one book that I did not like at all, it came close to being a DNF (but I hate spending time reading something to not finish it). The first chapter intrigued me a little, and I thought there would be a good mystery and maybe some action to the story, but as I read on I felt that the story dragged on with information that I did not think pertained to the story as a whole. I found I could not connect with any of the characters, and felt myself p...more
In The Salt Road, Isabelle (Izzy) Treslove-Fawcett has inherited an amulet, along with a mysterious note, from her father. It leads her on a journey to Morocco to find the amulet's origin and solve the mystery that her father eluded to in the note. Once there, she meets an antiques trader, Taïb, learns about the history of the Tuareg people and uncovers the amulet's amazing past.

I had read Johnson's other book, The Tenth Gift and really enjoyed it, so I was really excited when I first heard abo...more
I actually bought this novel for someone else, who couldn't get hold of it in the States. It's not something I would have bought from a store normally. But I was intrigued both by the idea of the story and the author's history. I am primarily a sci fi and fantasy reader although I love a good historical like Dunnett or Erskine.

I found the opening pretty slow. I wasn't even sure I liked it, but the skill of the author shows in the gradual build up throughout the novel. It's beautifully written. I...more
I read Jane Johnson's The Tenth Gift in July of 2009. That story involved the lives of two women living in two different time periods paralleling each other. The story and Johnson's writing stayed in my mind; a woven tapestry that at the end was revealed its completion not its unraveling. I know I'm being overly dramatic here but I've never really come across another writer like Jane Johnson, with her exotic settings, evocative prose and dynamic female characters. Maybe I could call up a few aut...more
A wonderfully told story. The story moves back and forth between two strong women, from very different worlds. Izzy, now Isabelle is a powerful lawyer on the fast track, with many secrets in her past. The author has made it clear why Isabelle's relationship with her mother was so strained but the reader is unaware of the unhappiness she experienced due to her father until almost the very end of the book. Upon his death, he leaves her something from his travels that he promises will change her wo...more
If this had not been a book club book, I think I would have given up by page 150. Mariata's story is enchanting but Isabelle is infuriating and ignorant. Unfortunately there are people like her who do travel and who are as insensitive as she to the cultures of others. By page 191 the story finally started to become more interesting and I stopped skimming over Isabelle's chapters and actually read the whole rest of the story. The previous 100 pages had been spent skimming the chapters with Isabel...more
☆ Ruth ☆
I liked it, but I didn't love it. The book is well written and extremely well researched, giving a fascinating glimpse into the culture and history of the Tuareg people. I must admit I enjoyed the flash-back sections of the book more than the modern day passages.
Whilst the main bulk of the book is realistic and quite brutal at times, the ending felt contrived and out of kilter with the rest of the story. It left me with a rather flat, dissatisfied feeling as if there should have been a more dram...more
I have never read any of Jane Johnson's previous books but was aware of her fantasy books written under the pseudonym Jude Fisher. The Salt Road was recommended to me and I am glad to say, it was well worth reading.

The Salt Road is mainly set in North Africa and the descriptions of the varied landscapes of the Sahara are breathtaking. The story centres around a Tuareg amulet that Isabelle inherits from her estranged father. She goes to Morocco to solve the puzzle of why her father wanted her to...more
Big Book Little Book
The story weaves together to tell the two tales of Mariata and Isabella. These two women have had very contrasting lives, living in different times and countries, where women are treated in hugely different ways and have vastly different expectations. Isabella in the West being, what we would think of, as a strong, independent, ambitious woman and Mariata in the more Eastern lifestyle. Yet Mariata too is a strong, independent and ambitious woman. The outworking of these qualities in their lives...more
Jane Johnson

The story is set in today's world, a lady CPA with "issues", including disliking her French mother and hating her archeologist father. Now she has her life perfectly in order and nothing can disturb her - until her father dies and leaves her the house she grew up in. Along with the house, he leaves a note about a box in the attic which she can open, or leave closed - her choice.

She opens the box and finds an unusual amulet, obviously foreign and old. With it is some not...more
June Seghni
I really enjoyed this.I came across it after reading this article all about the author Jane Johnson..
I am myself a european woman with a north african husband,albeit a city boy from Algeria, and have become pretty interested in the people and lands of the region, so this was right up my alley.

I enjoyed the wonderful description of desert life, customs and people as well as wanting to know how the protagonist's father had come by the amulet he bequeaths to...more
Book description:
Isabelle's estranged archeologist father dies, leaving her a puzzle. In a box she finds some papers and a mysterious African amulet — but their connection to her remains unclear until she embarks on a trip to Morocco to discover how the amulet came into her father's possession. When the amulet is damaged and Isabelle almost killed in an accident, she fears her curiosity has got the better of her. But Taib, her rescuer, knows the dunes and their peoples, and offers to help uncove...more
Isabelle''s estranged archeologist father dies, leaving her a puzzle. In a box she finds some papers and a mysterious African amulet - but their connection to her remains unclear until she embarks on a trip to Morocco to discover how the amulet came into her father''s possession. When the amulet is damaged and Isabelle almost killed in an accident, she fears her curiosity has got the better of her. But Taib, her rescuer, knows the dunes and their peoples, and offers to help uncover the amulet''s...more
I had no Idea what this book would be about when I entered the Goodreads compotition. I think that the cover drew me to it because it is pretty and in your face what with it being red.
The book begins by introducing us to the main charcter Isabelle and her life up to now when the book is set.
The book like Kate Mosses 'labrynth' switches between two stories eras while being connected to each other in a way. The one being the story of Isabelle and the other one being the story when she is having a...more
I love a mystery and the write-up on the back of the book said Isabelle was left a mystery in the attic of the house her father left her in his will. That was enough to get me to buy the book. I'm so glad I did because it turned out to be an interesting, exciting, and exotic journey she ended up taking, and I got to go on it with her. I don't usually enjoy stories that move back and forth between two time settings but this one was done very well. By the time I got halfway through the book, I did...more
I really enjoyed this book about the people of desert. It starts out with Izzy as a little girl who is rambucious and lively. Than becomes an accountant. What happened to her to change her from the little girl to the woman she became. Her father leaves a secret box in his will for her in the attic. The choice is her's to open it or not. She does open it and finds an amulet with some history to it and decided to go to Morroco to do some rock climbing. Which becomes an adventure for her. It is als...more
This is a present day story of a woman living in England, intermingled with the life of a Tuareg woman of the past. At first I didn't think I would like this book, as I couldn't identify with or feel any empathy for the modern day protagonist. However, the chapters that dealt with the life of Mariata, the desert woman seemed to me to be much more vivid and captured the imagination so much more. I did, in the end, enjoy this book and would give it 3.5 stars if I could, and I suggest to anyone abo...more
Unexpectedly a beautiful read and an interesting one at that. picking this book up at a bargain sale, I wasn't too keen on starting it. But it pleasantly surprised me. with the clever writing style and a carefully set out tale, the salt road is one to treasure. I had been craving for a good historical fiction/ adventure book at the time that I had picked it up I was intent on finding an enchanting tale with the most beautiful characters and the book didn't disappoint me at all. Being a Muslim my...more

I'm not a great romance fan, I actually bought the book because the story is set in Morocco. The Salt Road is a wonderful read that stayed a while in my mind afterwards. It is beautifully written and well researched about fascinating ancient cultures of Touaregs and Bedouin in the Sahara Desert. It is intriguing and the characters interesting, the story of two different women in two different periods of time, it's just a good book.
I liked the insight into the native people of the Sahara Desert that have been living there for a century in the same way. The book follows two storylines that occur about 40 years apart and then they of course connect in the end. When I started the book I thought the older storyline occurred hundreds of years before.....crazy that people really can survive in the desert like that.
Natasa Vujinovic
Some parts are very interesting, but some are very boring. After reading three full chapters only about Mariata riding a camel trought the Sahara dessert and nothing actually happens, it really gets annoying. On other side, there are two quite amazing stories about two quite unrelated girls and it gets more and more interesting as you read it. All in one, it worth reading it!
Alexa-Storm Hartman
I am rather upset, that this story has ceased. I believe that the imagery of deserts has captured my heart and soul once more.
The beings that live to travel and create adventures along this life journey, I recommend you read this book and allow yourself to dissolve into the desert and the mysticism of the lives lived amongst the dunes, rocky terrain and oases.
Natalie Hart
This is a novel of two story strains -- one contemporary and one historical in Morocco/Algeria. The historical story was gripping and emotional and compelling with a main character who was a real force of nature, fighting the forces of nature and human cruelty. The contemporary story suffered a bit in comparison. It was well-told, but I wasn't drawn by its main character as much, and I felt that certain revelations that made me understand her better were a little late in coming. One thing that i...more
Robin Hobb
This book does not want to be put into a single category. But if you must, you may file it under mystery, romance, adventure or travelogue.

To me, it's just a great double weave of two stories of two very different characters, set against the same backdrop.

NO spoilers!
Lindsay Gage
Excellent read with great characters that draw you into their story helping you understand them while still leaving you wanting to know more about them throughout the novel.
I really enjoyed the scenery and the culture in this book. I think the historical fiction, the romance, the grit & the setting would make this book a great movie.
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aka Jude Fisher, Gabriel King (with M. John Harrison)

Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer.

She was responsible for publishing the works of J R R Tolkien during the 1980s and 1990s and worked on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, spending many months in New Zealand with cast and crew. Under the pseudonym o...more
More about Jane Johnson...
The Tenth Gift The Sultan's Wife The Secret Country The Shadow World (The Eidolon Chronicles) Legends of the Shadow World (Eidolon, #1-3)

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“I have learnt to spin words like dervishes, to bewitch and blur reality.” 0 likes
“All these thoughts moved through her head like moths around a fire, sometimes vanishing into the darkness, sometimes catching light and zigzagging crazily about.” 0 likes
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