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parsed(2024-04-09) - pubdate: 04/24
pub date: 1712638800
today: 1718427600, pubdate > today = false

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A Sweet Sting of Salt

A Novel

April 9, 2024 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9781039008021
Reader Reward Price: $22.46 info
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When a young woman in 19th century Nova Scotia uncovers a magical secret about her neighbour, she'll have to fight to keep the truth--and the woman she loves--safe in this stunning queer reimagining of the classic folktale The Selkie Wife.

When a sharp cry wakes Jean, the sole midwife in Barquer's Bay, Nova Scotia, in the middle of the night, she's convinced it must have been a dream. But when the cry comes again, Jean ventures outside during a terrible tempest and is shocked by what she discovers--a young woman in labour, barely able to speak a word of English. Jean can only assume she must be Muirin, the new wife of her neighbour up the road, but when the baby arrives, Jean is only left with more questions. Why is the baby so unusual? And why is Muirin's husband so fearful of his wife and newborn son spending time by the sea?

Though Jean learned long ago that she should stay out of other people's business, her growing concern--and growing feelings--for Muirin mean she can't simply set her worries aside. But when the answers she finds are more surprising than she ever could have imagined, and the truth about Muirin's mysterious behaviour reveals her marriage may not be all it seems, will Jean be able to set things right and save the woman she loves before it's too late?

About this Author

Born and raised a voracious reader of anything she could get her hands on in rural Nova Scotia, Rose Sutherland has an overactive imagination and once fell off the roof of her house pretending to be Anne of Green Gables. She's continued to be entertainingly foolhardy since, graduating from theater school in New York City, apprenticing at a pâtisserie in France, and, most recently, moonlighting as an usher and bartender in Toronto, where she is currently based. Her hobbies include yoga, dancing, singing, hurling herself into large bodies of salt water, searching out amazing coffee and croissants, and making niche jokes about Victor Hugo on the internet. 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.

ISBN: 9781039008021
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 352
Publisher: Random House of Canada
Published: 2024-04-09



"Sutherland's breathtaking debut is a moody, tense, queer love story, loosely based on the Scottish folktale The Selkie Wife. The intense, passionate connection between Jean and Muirin is breathtaking, and both women's determination to escape Tobias' cruelty leads to shocking instances of subterfuge. Readers who enjoy fiction inspired by fairy tales and folklore will be entranced." --Booklist, starred review

"Sutherland's winning debut creates a cozy queer haven in an unforgiving but subtly magical environment. . . . Fans of folkloric fantasy should check this out." --Publishers Weekly

"A beautifully written Sapphic fantasy, Sutherland's debut announces her as a writer to watch." --ELLE Magazine

"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 has crafted a modern fairytale as harsh and beautiful as its Nova Scotian setting, melding the gorgeously rendered love story of her heroines with the realities of queer life when such love could rarely be openly expressed. 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

"Both folkloric and true to life, A Sweet Sting of Salt invites us hearthside for a mesmerizing yarn. Sutherland plunges us into the forbidden desires of 19th-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

"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 one another." --Mary McMyne, author of The Book of Gothel

"Rose Sutherland's debut A Sweet Sting of Salt captures the delicious coziness of warm socks and tea by the fire as a blizzard rages outside. She brilliantly weaves the stark atmosphere of coastal 19th century Nova Scotia as a complement to lonely midwife Jean and otherworldly Muirin. Their initial prickly relationship is smoothed and polished as they allow their outer layers to fall away and show a depth of true compassion and what it means to love without conditions. Sutherland's thoughtful prose mirrors the environment, dotted with echoes of Bronte-esque romantic longing--but with heroines who have the inner strength to determine their own happy endings." --Maureen Marshall, author of The Paris Affair

"Wild and windswept, 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

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