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Tasting Salt by Stephanie
Reviewed by Terri & Yoda
CORDELIA at 73 is recently widowed and trying to come to terms with life alone after more than 30 years of marriage to GEORGE. He was a man of some renown in literary circles, an intellectual writer, philosopher, traveller and champion of 3rd World causes. They had no
children and Cordelia always felt somewhat overshadowed and to some extent slightly superfluous within the relationship.
She is a potter and is now seeking self-expression in her work, but increasingly finding only frustration and is seriously questioning her role in life.
Her closest friend LAURIE is also a potter, who has had some commercial success but now wishes to develop the more artistic aspects of her work. She has 2 adolescent children and has recently separated amicably from her husband, who now lives with his new male partner. The realisation that he is gay does not seem to be causing any problems to anyone involved.
The developing relationship between Cordelia and Laurie, including the sexual possibilities, is one of the major themes of the book.
I found this book rather difficult to relate to. The characters are all white, upper middle-class, privileged and in my opinion somewhat pretentious, especially in the style of their conversations, which bear little resemblance to real life dialogue.
The story is told from different viewpoints and switches from the 1st person to the 3rd without warning, which I found irritating.
There is no real plot and there are certainly no surprises. It might perhaps be useful background reading for someone going through a similar experience, but other novels dealing with these themes are far more readable; for instance: 'The Shell Seekers' (Rosamunde Pilcher) and 'The Camomile Lawn' (Mary Wesley)