In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
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.
This book is so hauntingly beautiful, I can barely handle it.
We open with a funeral for Annaleigh’s sister, Eulalie. Eulalie is the fourth of Annaleigh’s sisters to die in weird circumstances. That’s not a spoiler, as it’s literally the first chapter.
The Salt is a weird location near the sea. I’m one of those who is absolutely terrified of the ocean, so that adds a special creepy factor for me! The whole story is reminiscent of Crimson Peak, one of my favorite Gothic tales. Annaleigh’s youngest sister, Verity, has been drawing the ghosts of her dead sisters, in ways that show how they died. So now, obviously, Annaleigh is being haunted by her sister, too.
This story is like a murder mystery, a fantasy, and a family story all tied into one book, and I absolutely adore it. Annaleigh isn’t a dumb heroine who thinks her life is unfair; she’s honestly one of the smarter leads I’ve read.
A stunning debut, I can’t wait to read more from Erin A. Craig. I give House of Salt and Sorrows 4.5 out of 5 krakens. Thanks so much to NetGalley and Delacourt Press for a copy in exchange for review.