the salt really is heavy

There is an outdoor theatre that puts on musicals every summer in the city from which I hail, and in 2023 they are doing a production of The Little Mermaid.

My friends’ kids are all insane in the membrane about going to see this show because they looooove that little mermaid. In fact, just this weekend they were over here for a day of fun in the sun, and the subject of the show happened to come up.

Having just recently finished reading The Salt Grows Heavy by Cassandra Khaw, and making my thorough notes for the book to be next on the noises above’s book club, I felt behooved to share my new perspective on the Disney-fied classic tale through Ms. Khaw’s amazingly twisted lens. There were no musical numbers to speak of.

This book is just over 100 pages long, and it packs punches that you will not see coming. Settle in for a moment, and POW! You just got your face bitten off. Think you’ve found a place to relax for a minute? NOPE, these surgeons are here to borrow your eyeballs for a fun experiment. Got a sassy mouth and some sassier ideas? Well, we will just take your tongue out so we don’t have to listen to that sort of nonsense. You think your bestie, the plague doctor, is going to help you out of this situation you’re in? Think again.

This short novel does not feel short. Every sentence is imbued with weight and meaning. Our protagonists are unlike any I’ve encountered before, and I loved them both fiercely. The salt really is heavy, and I’m still not even sure I get what that means.

For real. By the time I finished telling the cheerful troupe of pre-teens about what I figured is likely a more accurate depiction of any possible union between a prince and a mermaid, and the ensuing occurrences, I was being looked upon by four sets of extra-large worried eyes with decidedly slackened jaws hanging loose. Needless to say, I am a fan-favourite among their mothers’ friends.

The noises above book club guide for The Salt Grows Heavy is available now!

go ahead, whistle past the graveyard

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