Monday, September 2, 2013
Review: As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann
In the seventeenth century, the English Revolution is under way. The nation, seething with religious and political discontent, has erupted into violence and terror. Jacob Cullen and his fellow soldiers dream of rebuilding their lives when the fighting is over. But the shattering events of war will overtake them.
A darkly erotic tale of passion and obsession, As Meat Loves Salt is a gripping portrait of England beset by war. It is also a moving portrait of a man on the brink of madness. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a first novel by a most original new voice in fiction.
I'm not even sure what in the world just happened to me. I finished this book on Saturday and wanted to give myself a little time to digest it. As a large fan of both meat and salt I was curious to see the connection, and realized very quickly that it was just a simple term of endearment. (I wasn't really expecting much more I promise) However, as the book went on the endearment started to have a good deal of a bitter aftertaste.
This book, like many books of the ear started out with a very well to do pace, setting it kind of like you would imagine Jane Austin going about her every day life, but while our main character is sweeping the bottom of a pond for a dead body I realized very quickly that My Dear Mr. Bennett wasn't all there in the head. From then on the whole thing came at me fast, the romance a rather beautifully written one with enough space between to have me cheering for it to work out (despite the bit of failure that followed.)
Maria's characters were very well fleshed out, and I did have a good soft spot for them all. However, it was Jacob that took the lead, and though we learn he's a bit of a sadistic asshat (aren't we all?) I still found myself wanting him to succeed with Ferris. I suppose that is what caught me off guard. Without too many spoilers, my heart is broken...empty. I've left this book not on a high note, nor in the sort where even a character death (spoiler alert, no one dies) makes me feel. I think honestly that maybe I read it too fast, my heart pounding through the chapters just a little too quickly in hopes of finding that happily ever after...
I'm honestly without words, but not 100% in the good way. I truly have just thought about this book the entire past few days trying to put together my thoughts for a good well rounded review, but they are just not coming--and that finds me a little at odds.
I don't know how I feel about the book. And this...is perhaps what she was going for? Maria McCann really captured the time period really well, and for that I had to give her high marks. A lot of the phrases and descriptions that she used were spot on to some of the English Lit from that era, and I am really impressed with how well she made you care about both sides of Jacob.
I would recommend this book for sure, but would I put it on your highest list? No. But if it's out there and you want something that will have your heart hammering the entire way? Go for it.
3/5 Stars for As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann, and the highest recommendation of taking your time with it.