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The Salt Line

A Novel

Voices of the South

320 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

ebook available

This title is out of print.

“Spencer’s refined, sensuous writing and laser insights inform this novel, as extraordinary as her other works.”—Publishers Weekly

At a certain point approaching the Mississippi coast, the air fills with the salt smell of the Gulf of Mexico. For all of the characters in Elizabeth Spencer’s gracefully written novel, the salt line divides past and present, memory and longing, tranquillity and danger. Crossing it places everyone in the chaotic path of Arnie Carrington, former professor and 1960s campus radical, who is on a crusade to restore the small Gulf Coast town of Notchaki after the devastation of Hurricane Camille. Threatening the enterprise is the arrival of Arnie’s former colleague Lex Graham, who intends to use his wealth to squash his longtime rival’s plans for the area’s rejuvenation.

The romantic, generous Carrington attracts a wide array of devotees—Frank Matteo, a Mafia-connected restaurateur trying to go straight; Mavis, the pregnant girlfriend Frank has rejected; Dorothy, Lex’s unstable wife, who wants to resume an ancient affair with Arnie; and Lex’s cherished daughter Lucinda, a coquette who fancies Arnie’s idealism.

The characters in The Salt Line are rebuilding, reckoning with old ghosts, liberating repressed passions, and getting back into life. Elaborately and densely populated, masterfully plotted, and elegant in style, Spencer has woven a tale about the lines that bind, divide, and envelop people.

“Appealing . . . eloquent . . . it won’t disappoint you.”New York Times 

Elizabeth Spencer lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is the author of nine novels, including The Voice at the Back Door, The Salt Line,The Night Travellers, and This Crooked Way, and several short fiction collections, most recently The Southern Woman. Her work has been widely translated and has merited numerous awards. She is a charter member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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