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A Sweet Sting of Salt: A Novel

A Sweet Sting of Salt: A Novel

Current price: $18.00
Publication Date: April 9th, 2024
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Once a young woman uncovers a dark secret about her neighbor and his mysterious new wife, she’ll have to fight to keep herself—and the woman she loves—safe in this stunning queer reimagining of the classic folktale “The Selkie Wife.”

“Laced with a slow-building sense of Gothic dread, Sutherland’s captivating debut is an intensely beautiful experience you won’t soon forget.”—Paulette Kennedy, author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

When a sharp cry wakes Jean in the middle of the night during a terrible tempest, she’s convinced it must have been a dream. But when the cry comes again, Jean ventures outside and is shocked by what she discovers—a young woman in labor, drenched to the bone in the bitter cold and able to speak barely a word of English.

Although Jean is the only midwife for miles around, she’s at a loss for who this woman is or where she’s from; Jean can only assume that she must be the new wife of the neighbor up the road, Tobias. And when Tobias does indeed arrive at her cabin in search of his wife, Muirin, Jean’s questions continue to multiply. Why has he kept his wife’s pregnancy a secret? And why does Muirin’s open demeanor change completely the moment she’s in his presence?

Though Jean learned long ago that she should stay out of other people’s business, her growing concern—and growing feelings—for Muirin mean that she can’t simply set her worries aside. But when the answers she finds are more harrowing than she ever could have imagined, she fears she may have endangered herself, Muirin, and the baby. Will she be able to put things right and save the woman she loves before it’s too late, or will someone have to pay for Jean’s actions with their life?

About the Author

Rose Sutherland was born and raised a voracious reader of anything she could get her hands on in rural Nova Scotia, and once even fell off the roof of her house trying to re-enact Anne of Green Gables. She’s continued to be entertainingly foolhardy since, graduating theater school in New York City, apprenticing at a pâtisserie in France, and most recently, working in theater in Toronto. She’s mildly obsessed with the idea of one day owning a large dog, several chickens, and maybe a goat. A Sweet Sting of Salt is her first novel, and the story is a love letter to the wild beauty of the place she calls home.

Praise for A Sweet Sting of Salt: A Novel

“Sutherland’s atmospheric, feminist retelling of the selkie wife folk tale is a mesmerizing debut.”The Washington Post

“Lush, atmospheric, and threaded with multiple kinds of magic.”Paste
“A gorgeous tale of sapphic yearning laced with a slow-building sense of Gothic dread, Sutherland’s captivating debut is an intensely beautiful experience you won’t soon forget.”—Paulette Kennedy, bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

A Sweet Sting of Salt masterfully combines rich historical detail with an atmospheric, poignant romance between two unforgettable women that will sweep readers off their feet. For fans of feminist retellings and queer fairy tales, Sutherland’s debut is a must-read.”—Allison Epstein, author of Let the Dead Bury the Dead

“Sutherland’s thoughtful prose mirrors the environment, dotted with echoes of Brontëan romantic longing—but with heroines who have the inner strength to determine their own happy endings.”—Maureen Marshall, author of The Paris Affair

“A masterful work, A Sweet Sting of Salt will linger in my imagination as vividly as any bit of ancient folklore, long after the last page.”—Laura R. Samotin, author of The Sins on Their Bones

“Sutherland plunges us into the forbidden desires of nineteenth-century hearts, then rescues us with the deepest kinds of uniting love. Her vibrant depiction of the Nova Scotian shore fills our lungs with salted air and imbues us with a yearning for the sea.”—Gwen Tuinman, author of Unrest

“A stunning work filled with beautifully rendered lore, evocative prose, and heroines whose indelible internal strength and magic make you root for them at every turn.”—Felicia Grossman, author of Marry Me by Midnight

“Filled with fierce, unforgettable characters and sweeping landscapes, A Sweet Sting of Salt is a stunning debut from start to finish. Sutherland is most definitely a writer to watch.”—Molly Greeley, author of Marvelous

“Fierce and subversive, A Sweet Sting of Salt transforms the old tale of ‘The Selkie Wife’ into an empowering story about two women full of longing—not only for the sea but also for each other.”—Mary McMyne, author of The Book of Gothel

“Sutherland’s debut is a moody, tense, queer love story, loosely based on the Scottish folktale ‘The Selkie Wife.’”Booklist, starred review
“Wild and windswept just like its setting, A Sweet Sting of Salt is a subversive, lushly romantic historical retelling of an age-old folktale.”—Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, author of The Witch and the Tsar

“Sutherland’s winning debut, set in 1830s coastal Nova Scotia, creates a cozy queer haven [with a] thrilling climax and satisfying resolution. . . . Fans of folkloric fantasy should check this out.”Publishers Weekly