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The Salt Road by Jane Johnson

The Salt Road

by Jane Johnson

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937190,951 (3.93)21



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Showing 5 of 5
A beautifully written story. Set in North Africa, there are two story lines here following two women, which are set about 30 to 40 years apart from each other but they might as well have been set centuries apart. Mariata is a remarkable character creation. Her story is full of passion and strength and explores the relationship between man and nature.
Her vivid, personal descriptions bring the desert to life, I’ve infact learned a lot about the North African desert tribes and their culture through this book.
The story is structured to keep the suspense till the end as the two story lines intrweave

A very satisfying read. ( )
  kasyapa | Oct 9, 2017 |
The Salt Road by Jane Johnson is the second of three novels set in Morocco. These books are all stand-alone stories, set at various points in history. The Salt Road follows two story-lines that are about thirty years apart in the not too distant past. I found this book to be an excellent escape read, very atmospheric and romantic, but for me, the stars of this book were the Sahara Desert and the Tuareg people, nomads of this immense land.

The story spans generations and cultures, from a modern-day Isabelle, who comes to Morocco on a climbing holiday to the headstrong Mariata, a young Tuareg woman who must flee to the desert to find refuge and shelter. Both women find adventure and love along the ancient caravan route across the Sahara called the Salt Road. The author’s vivid descriptions of the breathtaking beauty and incredible danger of the Sahara will long remain in my mind.

The Salt Road was rich in it’s description and I loved reading about the exotic culture of the desert people. The ingredients of The Salt Road were mainly mystery, romance and travelogue which blended well. The weakness in the book is that having two narratives to follow meant that the author had to take a few short cuts and the emotional depth of the book suffered from this particularly in the romance angle. Ultimately the information learned and the entertainment offered far outweighed the books short-comings and I was a happy armchair traveller. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Aug 2, 2017 |
Synopsis: Isabella discovers a mysterious amulet when clearing out her estranged father's house after he dies. Deciding to uncover the meaning behind it, she finds herself in one of the places she least expected, Morocco... and the journey that would define the rest of her life begins.
My Opinion: I like how the author created a parallel between Isabella and Mariata and the different cultures they lived in and the impact this had on their lives as women. Some of the parts towards the end were a bit tedious but overall it was an insightful story that brought me into the world of Morocco. ( )
  Moniica | Apr 8, 2012 |
I read Jane Johnson's The Tenth Gift in July of 2009. That story involved the lives of two women living in two different time periods paralleling each other. The story and Johnson's writing stayed in my mind; a woven tapestry that at the end was revealed its completion not its unraveling. I know I'm being overly dramatic here but I've never really come across another writer like Jane Johnson, with her exotic settings, evocative prose and dynamic female characters. Maybe I could call up a few authors that have storylines with similar elements but not the same way of threading together the stories and histories of the female characters.

Johnson's sophomore effort The Salt Road, is equally good as The Tenth Gift, and follows a similar formula. This time we are taken to the historical land of the desert Tuareg tribes and modern day Morocco. At its heart, The Salt Road is about the strength of women, and further, is wonderfully insightful about the lives of the Tuareg people. The women in the novel, Mariata and Isabelle, overcome abuse and hardship and in the process find their true selves. There are also good and not so good surprises in store for both characters that keep the story suspenseful. Johnson portrays the Tuaregs as a fierce people fighting to preserve their traditions in an oppressive world.

I recommend The Salt Road. Its focus on the lives of women reminded me other great novels with strong women within an historical context:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Expected One and The Book of Love by Kathleen McGowan
Labyrinth by Kate Mosse

http://myobsessionwithbooks.blogspot.com/ ( )
  nicchic | Jan 15, 2012 |
Two different story lines - one taking place in modern day Morocco and another taking place years ago in the desert. For me, this book started out slow and didn't start to pick up until the mid point, however when it did pick up it was very good.I wanted to read the whole 2nd half of the book in one sitting. ( )
  Iudita | Mar 17, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
The novel entwines two stories about people in two cultures, spanning generations: Isabelle, who travels to Morocco on what is supposed to be a simple climbing holiday, and Mariata, a young Tuareg woman of the legendary Blue Men desert tribe, who is in a fight for her identity and her life.Johnson demonstrates her adeptness at weaving past and present with Isabelle and Mariata’s stories....For readers looking to experience a shifting, disappearing world, and to be introduced to an exotic culture with evocative descriptions, The Salt Road is an exhilarating ride. Part historic and part contemporary, with universal themes of betrayal, love, and the anguish caused by human greed, it has an ending rich and fulfilling enough for those who like all their questions answered.

added by vancouverdeb | editThe Globe and Mail (Jan 29, 2011)
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Isabelle's estranged archeologist father dies, leaving her a puzzle. In a box she finds some papers and a mysterious African amulet -- but their connection to her remains unclear until she embarks on a trip to Morocco to discover how the amulet came into her father's possession. When the amulet is damaged and Isabelle almost killed in an accident, she fears her curiosity has got the better of her. PUBLISHER ANNOTATION, c2011.… (more)

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