Friday, March 22, 2013

Review: The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker (audio)

The Gilly Salt Sisters by Tiffany Baker
Read by Angela Brazil
Hachette Audio
Length: 14 hours, 13 minutes 
Source: Library

From the back of the audio caseIn the isolated Cape Cod village of Prospect, the Gilly sisters are as different as can be. Jo, a fierce and quiet loner, is devoted to the mysteries of her family's salt farm, while Claire is popular, pretty, and yearns to flee the salt at any cost. But the Gilly land hides a dark legacy that proves impossible to escape. Although the community half-suspects the Gilly sisters might be witches, it doesn't stop Whit Turner, the town's wealthiest bachelor, from forcing his way into their lives. It's Jo who first steals Whit's heart, but it is Claire--heartbroken over her high school sweetheart--who marries him. Years later, estranged from her family, Claire finds herself thrust back onto the farm with the last person she would have chosen: her husband's pregnant mistress. Suddenly, alliances change, old loves return, and new battle lines are drawn. What the Gilly sisters learn about each other, the land around them, and the power of the salt, will not only change each of their lives forever, it will also alter Gilly history forever.

My thoughts: This is the second book I've read/listened to by Tiffany Baker and once again I found myself mesmerized by the story. I ended up listening to her first book, The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, and enjoyed the audio so much I knew I had to do the audio with this new book.

The Gilly Salt Sisters is a tale of the Gilly sisters, Jo and Claire, who are estranged. Jo still lives on the Gilly salt farm, understanding the hard work that is needed to mine the salt as well as the superstitions that are connected to the family and the salt. Claire has always yearned for more - a better life and one that doesn't involve toiling in the marshes. Then there's Dee - a young woman who's mother has died and has just relocated to the small town with her father. As they try to get their cafe up and running, they have interactions with both Jo, who comes peddling her salt, and Claire, who comes in each morning and makes a point of getting them to take away the Gilly salt. 

Though the sisters are currently not on speaking terms, when Claire needs help - help that involves her and Dee- the first person she turns to is Jo and the family farm. As the story progresses, it seamlessly moves back and forth from the present to the past, allowing us to understand why things are the way they are and what motivates some of the characters. Secrets come to light, motivations are uncovered, relationships are mended and through it all, the salt plays a major role. It's almost is if the salt is another character in the story.

I really enjoyed this story. I loved hearing about the history of salt and how it plays a crucial part in life. Adding a bit of magical realism to this story just seems to work. And the setting - a small town on the marshes of Cape Cod makes me want to travel there to see a real salt marsh. I can't wait to see what Tiffany Baker has in store for us next!

Do you have any authors who's books you automatically get the audio versus the print version of? I've done this with Tiffany Baker's books now and also with Nancy Thayer's books. What about you?

Audio Thoughts: This is the first book I've listened to where Angela Brazil has narrated and I thought she did a great job. She was able to give each character their own unique voice and added the necessary emotions to the voices when needed. I look forward to listening to more by this narrator.

*** Devourer of Books hosts Sound Bytes every Friday - a meme to share the audio books that everyone is listening to. Stop by and you just might find your next audio book!



  1. I do so like family stories. Thanks for the review.

  2. I have yet to get into audio books. I've listened to a couple while on road trips, but I haven't brought them into regular life yet, you know? I'll have to check out Sound Bytes on Fridays to get some ideas!

    1. I always have one going in the car and recently started listening to them on my iPod while either at the gym or out walking.

  3. I didn't realize Tiffany Baker's new book was out. Excellent review! I read The Little Giant of Aberdeen County and interviewed the author as well.


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