This exotic and erotic tale starts in Paris in the 1800s,
with women dancers in an adults-only tale from the start.
Author Nalo Hopkinson is using an experimental style in
SALT ROADS, so that between each brief chapter we get a
chorus-like section, a page with the word Beat on it,
followed by a page with the word One, then a page with
Blues and so on. This can be a little surprising but after
every interlude the tale resumes.
Margot, Lisette and Jeanne talk about men, money and
functions in between powdering their faces to make their
skin paler - they have Caribbean backgrounds, but the
French men like paler girls as courtesans. If they gain
gifts of jewels, they can send money to their mothers. So
much depends upon pleasing the men - aren't the girls
to be pleased too?
There are occasional sidelights into ancient Egypt, which
don't seem to serve a purpose except to show that women in
various times have faced similar issues. Anyone interested
in arty experimental writing may be intrigued by this mix,
though personally I could have done with more storytelling
and less strong language. THE SALT ROADS won't be for
everyone, and with a short content it should be easy to
find out if author Nalo Hopkinson suits your taste.
Nalo Hopkinson’s third novel invokes the goddess of love
the name of redemption
Hopkinson’s time-traveling, genre-spanning novel weaves a
common thread of spiritualism and hope through three
intertwined stories of women possessed by Ezili, the
of love, as she inspires, inhabits, and guides them
trying personal and historical moments. Jeanne Duval is a
talented entertainer suffering from the ravages of a
sexually transmitted disease; Mer is a slave and talented
doctor who bears witness as Saint Domingue throws off the
yoke of colonial rule in the early nineteenth century; and
Meritet is a woman of the night who finds religion her own
way. Though the three are separated by many miles and
centuries, a powerful bond draws them together.
Epic, wrenching, and passionate, The Salt Roads is laced
with graceful, lyrical prose. Hopkinson has crafted a
one-of-a-kind novel that spans hundreds of years and
multiple countries to tell a mystical, heartrending story
self-worth, respect, and salvation.