Saturday, January 21

Book Review: The Lost Salt Gift of Blood

Title: The Last Salt Gift of Blood

Author: Alistair MacLeod

Pages: 256

Summary: The Stories of the Lost Salt Gift of Blood are remarkably simple - a family is drawn together by shared and separate losses, a child's reality conflicts with his parents' memories, a young man struggles to come to terms with the loss of his father.

Yet each piece of writing in this critically acclaimed collection is infused with a powerful life of its own, a precision of language and a scrupulous fidelity to the reality of time and place, of sea and Maritime Farm. Focusing on the complexities and abiding mysteries of the heart of human relationships, the seven Stories of The Lost Salt Gift of Blood map the close bonds and impassable chasms that lie between man and woman, parent and child.

In the Fall
The Vastness of the Dark
The Lost Salt Gift of Blood
The Return
The Golden Gift of Grey
The Boat
The Road to Rankin's Point

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was an enjoyable collection of short stories, a small collection, but it still gave me a good glimpse on the writing style of the author, and I enjoyed the short stories overall. Some I enjoyed more than others, but all were well written. Some I enjoyed more than others, but I didn't find that the any of the short stories dragged on or were poorly written, just that there were some that I enjoyed more than others.

The Golden Gift of Grey is one of the stories that stands out I wouldn't say it was a favourite of mine but it did stand out. It told an interesting "life lesson", and the protagonist of the book is one of the very few characters that stand out from all the others. I kind of felt bad for him in the end, as the author did a good job at showing the consequences of the young man's actions. I also enjoyed The Return, as a young boy journey's with his family back to his father's childhood home. I enjoyed reading about how the young boy explored the hometown, a place that was foreign to him compared to where he has grown up and meeting his grandparents. Again, I don't think it was a favourite of mine, but it is a story that stood out.

The title short story has a beautiful opening description, which is one of the best things I liked about the collection was how the author described certain things, beauty versus greyness, is probably the best way to describe it, but it was a well written opening passage.

Overall, a good short story collection, that does a good job at highlighting the author's talent of a writer.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, well written and overall enjoyable collection of short stories.

What to read next: I'd recommend his son's, Alexander MacLeod, short story collection, would be interesting to see how the two compare.

Challenges: 12 in 12, 100+ Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge 5, Short Stories Challenge


  1. I haven't read any works by this author but your review makes me want to try reading his books. Thanks for highlighting his this book and for linking this review to the Short Story Review Page.

    1. You're welcome, I hope you get a chance to read some of his works.