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3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
In this beautifully crafted debut novel, poet Isabel Zuber deftly traces the joys and the sorrows of a passionate but troubled marriage in Appalachia at the turn of the last century.

Anna Stockton was a bright and imaginative child, reveling in a rare wild freedom in the mountains of western North Carolina. As a young woman possessed by romantic yearnings and a great love o
ebook, 352 pages
Published March 6th 2002 by Picador
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I loved it. I've always been of the opinion that poets tend to write the best books--and Isabel Zuber just reaffirmed that. This story is absolutely riveting. I was so captivated by every word, every sentence. Not much really happens plot-wise in this book, but it was still very enjoyable. It tells primarily of the marriage and lives of Anna Stockton and John Bayley. Isabel Zuber took great time and detail to describe this family's story while remaining historically accurate. This isn't a novel ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Kasey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
An interesting story that follows a woman throughout her lifetime. There was something very powerful about this novel that I can't quite put my finger on. It brings a longing for simple pleasures and the closeness of family. Fans of Fannie Flagg should enjoy this novel.
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Apr 13, 2009 JG (The Introverted Reader) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to JG (The Introverted Reader) by: Pat
John Bayley meets Anna Stockton when she's in her late teens. He decides right away that he's going to marry her. She looks to be a strong woman who knows how to work. After burying two wives, that combination appeals to John. The rest of the book follows the ups and downs of their marriage and their relationship to the land.

My biggest issue with this book was that I somehow felt like I was watching a silent movie as I read it. I felt very much outside the story. I got the feeling that this was
Kae Larsen
May 25, 2009 Kae Larsen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I felt this book was extremely depressing, and the best feelings I can describe while reading this book is melancholy. I only finished it because by the time I had gotten into it 90 pages and realized it was going nowhere I had invested enough time I finished it. It is the story of a happy girl in childhood who marries a man twice widowed and her life from that time forward. I have a very hard time understanding how there are so many 5 star ratings on this book? I will give it this, it is well w ...more
Because I live near where this story book place, I picked up this book hoping to like it better than I did. I was somewhat disappointed. I felt nothing for any of the characters, other than perhaps Roland, who finds letters to his mother as the book begins. By the time I finished the book, I'd totally forgotten this and had to go back and reread it. The story was just OK, so without well rounded characters, it felt sort of flat.
Vicki Roberts
Dec 26, 2013 Vicki Roberts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most wonderful books I've ever read. Not a reader of historical fiction, I picked this up at the library - thinking first it may be the book that the movie with Liev Shreiber and Angelina Jolie starred in of the same name. But reading the jacket, and finding it not to be that story, something still led me to check it out...luckily.

I read several reviews here that said 'nothing happens' and 'depressing'...'no plot', 'kept waiting for something to happen'. Luckily, there are as many pos
Mar 04, 2015 Lizzann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written story set in the NC mountains from 1873 to 1987. salt follows three generations of a family focusing Anna. She is a woman who knows their is a wide world outside of her immediate circle but never
sees it for herself. She marries for passion and the fact that she became pregnant. John is a passionate lover but is ruled by his temper and fierce devotion to acquiring land and working it to its full potential. He is also a philander and Anna wonders just how many bastard children he has
Lauren Deloach
I enjoyed this book because it peeks into the world and what it was like for farmers in the late 1800s. I found the style of writing interesting because I was trying to find the main character, but there isn't just one. I thought it was Anna, the farmer's wife, but about 3/4 the way through, it's all from the husband's perspective. I really identified with Anna because of how hard she works and still manages to keep her family together. She was basically super-mom. I didn't like some of the even ...more
Oct 14, 2015 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. Somehow, all books written about characters living in Appalachia seem to speak to me, maybe because they are always so somber. The life there is, and was incredibly hard, and to me, sad. This book weaves the story of two families together at the end of the 1800s, and past the first World War. Anna, and her husband John, struggle to raise their family amid hardships and sacrifice, but also with a tenacity that brings preservation of the generations. The quotations about ...more
Mar 31, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved all the verses containing the word, salt. This family was so tied to the earth and its generosity. Season to season it was different. I loved how Anna and her boys loved books and learning when it was considered idleness and unnecessary. I cheered them on while wanting John to soften and relent.
Loved the simplicity of the time period and the family details. No huge plot twists, just a family with love, secrets, and ghosts.
Nov 09, 2010 Nancy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think I meant to read the book on the history of Salt, but I reserved this at the library instead. It was ok, interesting historical fiction. I kept waiting for something big to happen but it never did. The book plodded along and I plodded along with it.
Oct 03, 2011 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful and poetic, with a bit of melancholy but wholly relatable, even though it takes place in the late 19th century and early 20th century in Virginia and Tennessee.
Rachel Kemp Davis
This was a beautiful book. I couldn't put it down. I'm not sure why it isn't more well-known. I thought the characters were realistic. The plot was interesting. I loved it.
Jun 18, 2011 Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Best book I have ever read. First time I read it was three or four years ago and I have re-read it twice more. I find myself thinking of this book and its characters often.
Aug 06, 2013 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was another 3.5 for me. Very good read. The main character--Anna Stockton--was well developed. I liked her.
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