Of Women and Salt - book cover
  • Publisher : Flatiron Books; Standard Edition
  • Published : 04 Jan 2022
  • Pages : 224
  • ISBN-10 : 1250776708
  • ISBN-13 : 9781250776709
  • Language : English

Of Women and Salt


WINNER of the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Award,
She Reads Best of 2021 AwardsFINALIST for the 2022 Southern Book Prize LONGLISTED for Crook's Corner Book PrizeNOMINEE for 2021 Goodreads Choice Award in Debut Novel and Historical Fiction

A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born

In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.

From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Gabriela Garcia's Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals―personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others―that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots.

Editorial Reviews

Named a Best Book of the Year:
Cosmopolitan • The Boston Globe • Real Simple • Marie Claire • Reader's Digest • Good Housekeeping • Woman's Day • She Reads • Austin Public Library • Harper's Bazaar

Roxane Gay's June 2021 Audacious Book Club Pick
A Most Anticipated Book of 2021 (Books Are Magic, Bustle, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, Entertainment Weekly, Goodreads, Harper's Bazaar, O Magazine, Lit Hub, Write or Die Tribe, Palm Beach Daily, and more!)

"Gabriela Garcia captures the lives of Cuban women in a world to which they refuse to surrender and she does so with precision and generosity and beauty." ― Roxane Gay, bestselling author of Hunger and Bad Feminist

"Of Women and Salt is a fierce and powerful debut. Garcia wields narrative power, cultivating true and profound work on migration, legacy, and survival." ― Terese Marie Mailhot, bestselling author of Heart Berries

"Garcia's vivid details, visceral prose and strong willful women negotiating how to survive in this world are easy to fall for." ― Angie Cruz, author of Dominicana

"[A] beautifully evocative first novel." ― The New York Times Book Review

"This riveting account will please readers of sweeping multigenerational stories." ― Publishers Weekly

"I love the way Garcia is able to combine trauma and lyricism, briars and roses, in the lives of the complex, passionate women at the center of this beautiful debut." ― Miranda Cowley Heller, author of The Paper Palace

"Of Women and Salt reads like poetry." ― Vogue

"Highly anticipated." ― Elle

"A mesmerizing patchwork of determination, courage, and survival." ― The Washington Post

"From the perspectives of several generations of Cuban women, this remarkable debut shines a brilliant light on the broken immigration system and legacy of trauma for the people who endure it." ― Ms. Magazine

"Following three generations of Cuban women from Mexico to Miami, Gabriela Garcia's debut novel promises to be a sweeping tour de force about addiction, displacement, and the legacy of trauma." ― Harper's Bazaar

"Phenomenal . . . readers won't want to put [it] down." ― BUST

"This gripping, accomplished debut follows generations of Cuban women, from María Isabel, rolling cigars as she listens to the words of Victor Hugo and men die around her, to Jeanette, struggling with addiction in Miami, and trying to find a place in the world that feels real." ― Lit Hub

"The debut that's had publishing buzzing all winter long meditates on the way immigration shapes the lives o...

Readers Top Reviews

I enjoyed the story from the different perspectives. Life comes full circle. Lend a helping hand, and it comes back to you. I would recommend this read to friends.
Francesca M.
Storia costruita attraverso frammenti di vita di donne differenti ma simili, a cavallo tra la difficoltà di vivere a metà strada tra culture.
carmenSammy Msnoital
It’s appalling. Both the writing and the message, as well as the story. Fortunately, at 212 pages it demanded only a few hours of my time and reinforced my belief that building walls and shutting our borders (and cutting off all aid to illegals living here) is the only answer. A mother claims to want a better life for her daughter but why not build it where you are to the best of your ability? There is never an excuse to use another country… Especially illegally… to serve your own ends, regardless of how altruistic and unselfish you believe they may be. If you want to immigrate you do it the correct way like so many others have. I’m sick and tired of being told we are a terrible country because we turn away those who want to come here without paying any dues and take from this great country that they will always hate for not giving them more and more. Even as fiction, this book misses the mark in storytelling and prose. It was a waste of my time. I would hate for you to waste yours as well.
Domingo S.
What a beautiful story and journey of women and their struggles. More importantly of what makes them strong. Gabriela’s ability to paint such a vivid imagery and to intertwine the stories of her characters is fantastic. Highly recommend the book.

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