Love and Salt Water

Love and Salt Water

Book - 1990
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Ellen Guppy is the reluctant heroine of Ethel Wilson's final novel,Love and Salt Water. Saddened by a painful childhood, Ellen has adopted a skeptical independence and learned too well to hold her heart in reserve. But, as the novel unfolds, Ellen undergoes something of a sea-chan≥ learning to accept love along with the sorrow that is rarely far from love. First published in 1956,Love and Salt Wateris a mature and, at times, disturbing synthesis of Ethel Wilson's major themes: the independence of human lives, the strange alchemy of chance, and the healing illumination of love.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1990.
ISBN: 9780771089572
Branch Call Number: WILSO
Characteristics: 177 p. ; 18 cm.


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I found this the most difficult of Wilson's novels, apparently it was her last. The main character, Ellen, is a woman of her time with a streak of more modern independence that causes her to hesitate to commit to marriage. Ellen has a foot in two epochs and while it makes her a complicated character, I found she was less likable and less authentic than other of Wilson's female characters. There just seems to be something missing in this novel, but I can't define what it is.

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