The Salt House

A Novel

The Salt House

*Real Simple “Best Books of June”
*Refinery29 “Best Beach Reads of 2017”


In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this gorgeously written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful debut set during a Maine summer traces the lives of a young family in the aftermath of tragedy.

In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501156557 | 
  • June 2017
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day
Buy from another retailer

Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Salt House includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Lisa Duffy. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Set in the coastal town of Alden, Maine, The Salt House begins one year after Hope and Jack Kelly’s youngest daughter, Maddie, silently chokes on a necklace in her crib, taking her last breath without making a sound. Now, each member of the family—Jack, Hope, and their two surviving daughters, Kat and Jess—must navigate the world on their own private island of grief. Kat and Jess struggle to come to terms with the loss of their sister, while Jack and Hope watch their marriage crumble.

As they traverse their own rocky relationships, the return of old rivals, first crushes, and more, the family struggles to recover from the grief that clouds their every action.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. What is the significance of the title The Salt House? What does the Salt House mean to Jack, Hope, Jess, see more

About the Author

Lisa Duffy
Photograph © Tom Wheble

Lisa Duffy

Lisa Duffy received her MFA in creative writing from The University of Massachusetts Boston. Her short fiction was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and can be found in The Drum Literary Magazine, So To Speak, The Breakwater Review, Let the Bucket Down and elsewhere. Lisa is the founding editor of ROAR Magazine, a literary magazine supporting women in the arts. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US