House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
Published August 2019 by Delacorte
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
Oh gosh, where on earth do I start with this book?
First of all, I can’t stop thinking about it. And I haven’t stopped thinking about this story since I finished it, and I’ll probably be thinking about it for a while. I’m super picky about retellings, and this is likely my most favorite retelling of The 12 Dancing Princesses ever.
Reading this book made me feel like I was really at the sea, I could almost smell the salt in the air while reading this. The descriptions were vivid and amazing.
The story starts at a funeral. Eulalie is the fourth daughter to die of the twelve sisters. The townspeople are starting to think the girls are cursed. Four girls dead (five if you include the mother) and it surely seems that way.
Annaleigh is the main character in the story. She’s the middle child, although after the deaths she’s now the second oldest. She’s headstrong and sometimes oversteps, but it makes her a great character. Annaleigh is convinced something is happening to her sisters to cause them to die, and that it isn’t truly accidents.
Verity is the littlest daughter and her behaviors creeped me the hell out, I won’t lie. She’s an integral part of the story and I loved her and was also afraid of her because of the things she’d say. Small children who say creepy things definitely up the scary factor.
The creep factor in this book is a 10. For real, y’all, I was on the edge of my seat a lot reading this.
Oh Cassius and Fisher, the two main male characters in the story. I couldn’t decide for a while who I was rooting for and it turns out that decision was made for me. But a lot of my indecision over who to choose was based on who I was doubting to be true to his word and who I currently believed.
The twists. Oh my, the twists in this book were phenomenal. Every time I thought I had something figured out, another curveball got thrown and I’d be thrown for a loop.
This is, without a doubt, a book I want to own a finished copy of, because 1. the cover is absolutely stunning and I want to touch it in person and 2. this book was so, so good I want to re-read it and see if I can pick up on any of the clues I missed the first time around.
House of Salt and Sorrows is easily going to make my top list of favorite reads for 2019.
I received this book from Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review.