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We had a wonderful #blacklitchat with Martha Southgate on April 22 and discussed her latest novel. The Taste of Salt.

You can read a chirpstory transcript of the chat here.

The Taste of Salt is a wonderfully written novel that tells the story of Josie Henderson and her family and the very human story of their relationships. The family includes Josie, her brother Tick, their parents and Josie’s husband, Daniel.

Here are a few reasons I enjoyed the novel:

The characters are well developed and Josie in particular is a unique voice. She is a marine biologist and I loved hearing the voice of a Black women in a (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field.

Southgate renders the emotional struggles of the family so well, especially Tick’s struggle with addition and Josie’s ambivalence about helping her family. i wanted to tell them both not to do what they were doing, but I understood why because the author takes us into their heads.

While this is a novel that tells the story of a family falling apart, there is a beautiful love story as well between Josie’s parents. Reading chapter three, which tells how they fell in love, really gave me a hopeful feeling about their family. And it is always wonderful to read a love story that well written and acknowledges the big and small ways that people fall in love.

I’m adding all of Southgate’s novels to my to-be-read list.

Did you read The Taste of Salt? What did you think of the novel?

Note: Southgate’s publisher, Algonquin Books, provided two copies to #blacklitchat and also gave a copy to every attendee at Blogalicious ’11.

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