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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I wished I had written
Living in Norfolk and having walked all the saltmarsh coast from Snettisham to Weybourne this book seemed less of a novel and more of a biography. Some of the characters described I have met, in real life. It all made perfect sense - I too have been 'chased' by a 'rag cloud' with the inevitable drenching to follow. If you spend enough time on the dunes and marshes you...
Published on 26 July 2011 by Norfolkboy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit insulting to marsh folk
Dark, dreamlike, bleak and funny. It paints a picture of Marsh Folk as being a race apart. A thought provoking book
Published 23 months ago by Frances


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I wished I had written, 26 July 2011
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This review is from: Salt (Paperback)
Living in Norfolk and having walked all the saltmarsh coast from Snettisham to Weybourne this book seemed less of a novel and more of a biography. Some of the characters described I have met, in real life. It all made perfect sense - I too have been 'chased' by a 'rag cloud' with the inevitable drenching to follow. If you spend enough time on the dunes and marshes you soon learn to read the clouds and sea; you have too. It is difficult to know what a stranger to this world would make of this book but I would recommend it unreservedly.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big sky, big story, 19 May 2007
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This review is from: Salt (Hardcover)
The opening of this novel is utterly captivating and throughout it is a feast for all the senses, taste, smell, touch as well as conjuring exceptionally vivid pictures.

Intentionally or otherwise, the author seems to me to have caught the zeitgeist of interest in clouds, regional food, and shed science. There were places where it started to lose me in dreamworlds and it is unfortunate that a recurring theme is based on a misapprehension of how belly buttons are created (have I intrigued you yet?) but these detracted very little from the enjoyment.

Fundamentally this is a sad, bleak, flat story of mud and Fen and being dragged down but contains so much

hope within it and the sky is always there. A very readable piece of literature.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love North Norfolk you must read this book., 24 Aug 2008
This review is from: Salt (Paperback)
Jeremy Page brilliantly catches the atmosphere and skies of N Norfolk in this book. If you have ever been to N Norfolk or are going this book is a must read, it is hugely evocative of both the N Norfolk salt marshes and the fens and is a wonderful read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story, 30 May 2014
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I can only recommend you read it - I was brought up knowing that devastating floods had hit the area I was brought up in. This story is about the same floods and as well as being a great read it helped me to understand the true enormity of this event.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A bit insulting to marsh folk, 19 Jan 2013
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Dark, dreamlike, bleak and funny. It paints a picture of Marsh Folk as being a race apart. A thought provoking book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 15 Jan 2013
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This is a most unusual and beautifully written story of a dysfunctional family in the Norfolk marshes. I loved the description and the use of language but wondered slightly whether i wasn't too much taken by the author's skill and not quite enough with the characters and story. Worth a try, see what you think.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Salt by Jeremy Page, 15 May 2012
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An good read, I particularly enjoyed the poetic descriptions of Norfolk. I am sure that I would recognise many of the landscape features if I visited the area.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book - have bought it over and over for ..., 26 Oct 2014
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Amazing book - have bought it over and over for friends as an absolute favourite - I've read nothing like it - especially good at capturing the location.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Remember, we all need a map to follow in life", 5 Aug 2007
This review is from: Salt (Hardcover)
A tale of family history and legend, Salt takes place on the Norfolk salt marches, a low sweeping bank of sand, gravel, mud and dunes, which stretches along the Coast of East Anglia all the way to the North Sea. The novel begins at the height of the 2nd World War and while the German bombers growl through the sky, "their bellies full with steel and cordite," a young, reclusive girl called Goose half carries half drags a man from the shore, across the salt march and to her cottage.

It is here in her room that she throws down the mud-man in near disgust. Crumpled and guilty, he shivers and coughs while she unhooks a tin bath. "You stink like cod," she says" when he reveals that his name is Hands, a German airman with the palest blue eyes she's ever seen along with thick blond hair and thin-skinned features. Hands stays for a while, helping fix Goose's ramshackle cottage, he even fancies himself as a bit of a gambler and wins a few card tricks a few card tricks at the local pub.

Even as he gets Goose pregnant, Hands is steadily planning his escape, intent to bail on the impending birth of his daughter. Using Goose's favorite quilt and a map from the local pub to navigate, Hands caulks and pitches a clinker boat called the Pip and sails his rickety craft into the choppy water of the North Sea and a newly backing wind, which takes him away for good. The man's last known whereabouts was bailing the Pip in the middle of a storm.

Having been abandoned by Hands, Lil' Mardler, Goose's daughter, grows older and at sixteen inhabits a landscape that is so big and flat it seems the edges slope up into the sky. She also becomes in tune to Goose and the way her mother can read the clouds, the flat caps and tidal clouds, and the scale clouds that fall out of a "mackerel sky."

Lil remains her mother's silent partner, spell-bound by her side as Goose works fast, listening to all the clouds, as she hearing all these stories filling her head." But when she meets George and Kipper Langore after so many solitary years as a marsh girl, she is decides to desert her mother, heading off for a new life with Shrimp George driving a car he's borrowed, her crabbing line her only possession.

Buoyed along by a type of youthful enthusiasm, George promises Lil that he'll dig up his great-uncle's farming past, comforted by own reputation for understanding bloodstock of all kinds from his position of gamekeeper-cum-stockman created on a local estate. This world, however, is a place where Lil feels totally excluded, she received no visitors and no phone calls, the birth of her young son Pip does little to assuage her loneliness and the severe depression that steadily seems to enclose her world.

Narrated by Pip, Salt is a loving and affectionate homage to the landscape of Norfolk where a complicated fabric of stories, lies and mythologies is effectively passed down from each generation. Author Jeremy Paige does a beautiful job of presenting the ceaseless choreography of tides, creeks, birds and salt and the story is generally refreshingly vigorous. The problem is that there isn't much of a plot, so consequently, the novel often comes across as a bit sluggish and even boring, especially towards the end.

Still, Paige manages to imbue his story with a special kind of descriptive magic as he traces Pip's journey from a boy, where he cannot speak, to his bourgeoning adolescent sexuality, and his eventual attraction to Elsie, a young local girl who catches his eye, and also his heart. This is undoubtedly Pip's story as he orbits his mother and father, where time is pulled elastically all around him, layering his new world with overlapping visions, "the silent avenues over the dark countryside of Norfolk taking me this way and that, linking scenes and stories into which I drifted.

There's no doubt Salt is a fascinating insight into the lives and loves of the marsh people of Norfolk, but the problems of structure and also the lack of a definitive plot, ultimately make the novel a bit of a slog to get through. Mike Leonard August 07.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Norfolk Yarn, 11 Sep 2010
This review is from: Salt (Paperback)
This is a weird and wonderful story, full of atmosphere and odd personalities. Living in Norfolk and knowing the saltmarshes made this book special for me, and the author's ability to catch the Norfolk voice is uncanny. From the beginning I was drawn into the tale and followed each character with an eagerness to know their outcome.
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Salt
Salt by Jeremy Page (Paperback - 27 Mar 2008)
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