We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard translated by David Warriner ** Blog Tour Review**

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to my stop on the blog tour to celebrate the publication of We Were the Salt of the Sea on February 28th. Roxanne Bouchard is another great find by Orenda Books. As a French Canadian author, Roxanne is one of the few to be published in the UK.

As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky… Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

My Thoughts
I was keen to review We Were the Salt of the Sea because I have seen comments about it highlighting its literary, stylized way of writing which made it sound a little bit different. As soon as I started to read it, I could appreciate where the comments were coming from. Its writing style is initially slow and langourous and the narrative wends its way, backwards and forwards, like the sea itself. The sea is in fact a major presence in the novel, interwoven into everyone's lives. In fact those who get their livelihoods from the sea look on the time they have to spend on land as the complicated part of their lives. They are at one with the ocean. 

    There are some intriguing characters in the novel, with an air of mystery about all of them, none more so than Catharine Day and the mother she never meets, Marie Garant. Both seem to have an effect on the men they meet. The truth seems to be as nebulous as the depths of the sea, so difficult to grasp. Detective Sergeant Morales is newly drafted to the area and so in a way has the eyes of the outsider. He can ask the questions we would like to be asked. 

In short: a tight knit community harbours an enigmatic mystery, told in a lyrical and sensual style.
About the Author

Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.

You can follow Roxanne here: Twitter   |  Website

Book links: Amazon UK  

Thanks to Roxanne Bouchard, and Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

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