Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Salt in Our Blood by Ava Morgyn - OPTIONAL

The Salt in Our Blood by Ava Morgyn
, 323 pages. Albert Whitman, 2021. $18

Language: PG-13 (19 swears, 1 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (references to sexual assault and rape, on page sex- not explicit); Violence: PG-13 (domestic abuse, some mild description) 



As soon as 17yo Cat walks into the bedroom, she knows her grandmother, Mooney, has died. She knows by the unnatural stillness of her body. After calling for help, Cat knows she must also call her Mom. It’s been four years since Cat has seen her mom and ten years since she dropped Cat off to live with Mooney. Cat doesn’t know what to expect, but hopes her mom is still on her meds. Once her mom arrives, things move quickly. Her mom packs up Cat and the car and they are off to New Orleans where her mom is currently living. Cat is surprised her mom has a steady job, a place to live and a boyfriend, but based on her past experiences, it sounds too good to be true. It doesn’t take long for Cat and her mother to find themselves at odds with one another. Her mom is so happy Cat is there and she just wants to get on with things. Cat, on the other hand, misses Mooney, hardly knows her mom and has so many questions, and she is determined to find answers. Unfortunately her mom isn’t interested in dredging up the past, and the more Cat digs, the more she realizes how much Mooney kept from her. 

The magic is pretty mild in the story, but the author does weave some of the traditional folklore and magic of New Orleans into the story which adds to the mystery and atmosphere but doesn’t overwhelm the story of a mother and a daughter trying to reconnect. Cat’s mom is on her meds and in a seemingly good place, but that changes so quickly and the author handles both the characters and mental illness realistically, as well as, Cat questioning her own mental health and wondering if she is going down the same path as her mom. As the story unfolds, I found myself completely engaged and I always love a satisfying ending. 

Reviewer: RB 

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