Review: The Salt Madonna by Catherine Noske

Title: The Salt Madonna

Author: Catherine Noske

Published: February 25th 2020, Picador Australia

Status: DNF March 2020



“This is the story of a crime.

This is the story of a miracle.

There are two stories here.

Hannah Mulvey left her island home as a teenager. But her stubborn, defiant mother is dying, and now Hannah has returned to Chesil, taking up a teaching post at the tiny schoolhouse, doing what she can in the long days of this final year.

But though Hannah cannot pinpoint exactly when it begins, something threatens her small community. A girl disappears entirely from class. Odd reports and rumours reach her through her young charges. People mutter on street corners, the church bell tolls through the night and the island’s women gather at strange hours…And then the miracles begin.

A page-turning, thought-provoking portrayal of a remote community caught up in a collective moment of madness, of good intentions turned terribly awry. A blistering examination of truth and power, and how we might tell one from the other.”

Read an Excerpt



My Thoughts:

Unfortunately I’ve read about a third of this but it’s not holding my interest. The pace is slow and I’m finding the writing overblown rather than evocative. With my ability to focus marred by current circumstances I’m choosing to put this aside for now.

I recommend you visit Theresa Smith Writes and Jess Just Reads for their considered reviews of the novel.


Available from PanMacmillan Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claire Louisa
    Mar 27, 2020 @ 17:42:58

    I have this out of the library, but I’m struggling to focus atm too, I’m reading light romance novels because I can’t concentrate on anything more. I’ll leave this for now, but I do want to read it. I hope we all get our reading mojo back soon.

    Liked by 2 people


  2. Theresa Smith Writes
    Mar 27, 2020 @ 21:42:13

    Thanks for the link up Shelleyrae!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Jennifer
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 11:48:41

    I am hoping to read this soon. I am struggling, like so many others, to concentrate well enough to enjoy reading. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Marg
    Mar 28, 2020 @ 14:51:11

    That’s a shame but I understand. I am searching for light and fun reads at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Helen Murdoch
    Mar 29, 2020 @ 07:36:44

    I think during the current situation we all need books that will hold our attention and not depress us.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. volatilemuse
    Mar 30, 2020 @ 00:00:34

    I agree. I’m currently reading Rilke’s ‘Letters to a Young Poet’. I need his sense of perseverance and timelessness.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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