“House of Salt and Sorrows” by Erin A. Craig
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Retelling
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.
I need more retellings like this ASAP. I’m an absolute sucker for fairy tale retellings. House of Salt and Sorrows uses the original inspiration for the story. Yep, this isn’t your Disney retelling. This is the Grimm Brothers retelling. Original fairy tales can be pretty grim (sorry, not sorry). HoSaS fully embraces that horror.
I didn’t fully find the story scary but the horror and repulsion was there. As the story continued I was filled with unease. I love being able to feel the atmosphere though.
I loved the added bonus of unreliability. Nothing can be taken at face value. Who exactly is wrong and misremembering?
The story was absolutely unpredictable. I had no idea what to expect.
The book has a great atmosphere. You feel the salt. You feel the sea.
Perfect for someone looking for a spooky read but something that isn’t outright horror.