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As Meat Loves Salt

by Maria McCann

This is a totally engrossing read. The title itself is full of intrigue and passion.Set in the 17th century the story is rich in detail with characters made up of contradictions and foibles.You will find yourself feeling sorry for them although many of their problems are self inflicted.The ending is a triumph for the author,not a happy ending but the only acceptable one.I read this book quite a long time ago and have enjoyed many others since but this is the one that left a lasting memory.

Suggested by Anne Ward, Northwest England

Tagged with: passionate repulsive riveting



I was glad to see this recommended. I too read it some years ago and it's one of my all time favourite books - and I totally disagree that the chacters were unlikeable - and I I found the love affair moving and convincing. I'm sure, as the above reader states, that there WERE plenty of feisty etc women of that time, but so what? The book is very fine as it is and the author has clearly pulled off an impressive imaginative feat in portraying the relationship between the two men. My only regret is that Maria McCann doesn't seem to have written any other novels!
I read this some years ago because the 17th century is my favourite period of history, and there is lots to recommend - it's refreshing to have the focus on ordinary people, the dialogue and details are good, it's full of period atmosphere. But - and for me this is a HUGE but - I found the characters totally unsympathetic. Indeed the narrator is someone who in real life I'd go miles to avoid, and to see so clearly inside his repellent mind for a whole book was not a pleasant experience. Everyone was unlikeable, they all tried to betray or deceive each other, and deserved everything they got and more. When I read an interview with the author stating that she'd only made the central love affair a gay one because seventeenth century women were too submissive to have an equal partnership with a man, I wondered how much research she'd done - the Civil War period is full of feisty independent women who were capable of standing up to whole armies of men. After her comments, I was really surprised to find the book in the 'gay literature' section in Waterstones! Sorry, but I can't recommend it.
Your comments on this book has made me want to read it.I work in a Library and have just checked the catalogue and we have one copy in the County which I have just reserved. I love unusual titles and historical novels so I am really looking forward to reading this book. I will let you know how I get on with it.
Liz Rivers, Oxfordshire

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