Joanna's Reviews > The Gilly Salt Sisters

The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker
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Aug 29, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: 2012
Read in August, 2012

** spoiler alert ** The first seventy pages of this book are quite good. The story is engrossing, and it moves quickly along. Unfortunately, the book is not just seventy pages long. It goes on, past the point of eagerly turning the pages, and unravels in a manner so completely uninspired that it feels like the author wrote this book in the manner of an ill conceived baking experiment - one where you just toss in anything you can think of, with no real consideration for how it's going to turn out as a whole.

Clare, the ostensible protagonist, is completely unlikable. In the first part of the book, she seems interesting, and the reader hopes that the story is going to be about her personal growth, or the ways in which she will become older and wiser. Spoiler Alert: it never happens. In a similar way, her husband is cast as the villain of the piece, but without any kind of depth, he is reduced to little more than a comic book caricature. If he turned up with a twirling mustache to tie someone to the train tracks, it would be no surprise.

The book builds to an ending that has the reader initially wondering how all the lose ends will be tied up, only to discover that they are not going to be tied so much as burned to the ground.

And, rather than have to pay any kind of price for 1)starting the fire that originally burned her sister so severely that she is now scarred over most of her body and has a glass eye 2) marrying a man that she did not love so that she could leave her family behind and have lots of money 3) doing her best to sink her sister's salt business 4) being generally horrible to everyone in town 4) seducing her ex-boyfriend who is now a priest 5) purposely and with malice aforethought burning down a salt barn again to 6) kill her husband and 7) also kill his mistress, albeit accidentally - she gets to live happily ever after with her ex-boyfriend who leaves the priesthood for her and raise the baby that the mistress gave birth to. In a word: ugh.

Also, the author seems to have trouble keeping track of the ages and emotions of the characters, which jump and change from page to page. The best thing about this book is its descriptions of the salt marsh, but as beautiful as they are, it still doesn't make this a worthwhile read.
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Reading Progress

12/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by J (new) - rated it 2 stars

J I agree. By the middle of the book, I began skimming, hoping for improvement. It never came.


Trudy Well said.


Amanda Steinhoff Oh man, the ages thing drove me crazy! I thought I was losing my mind!! Glad it wasn't just me.


Vicki Another well said. It started with so much promise and it's like the author got stuck and wrapped it up with a murder??? I'm not sure they do that in mysteries.


message 5: by Della (new) - added it

Della Scott I've just started reading this. I was looking forward to it because I liked The Little Giant of Aberdeen County. I looked in the acknowledgements to see if Tiffany Baker had researched salt farming, or how she knew about it. I guess I'll keep reading, but won't have high expectations, based on these comments.


Heidi I loved this book so much! I was absorbed by the unique story and the way it was told didn't bother me one bit. I liked the way it unfolded. Memorable


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