House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows

House of Salt and Sorrows By Erin A. Craig

Get swept away in Erin A. Craig’s mesmerizing House of Salt and Sorrows. As one by one her beautiful sisters mysteriously die on their isolated island estate, Annaleigh must unravel the curse that haunts her family. Be careful who you dance with… .

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

A Word from the Author: Truths I've Learned Through Fairy Tale Retellings

Ever since I was a little kid, pressed against my parents’ sides and listening with rapt attention as they read to me, I have loved fairytales. Hans Christian Anderson, The Grimm Brothers, Charles Perrault… these authors filled my childhood with visions of beautiful gowns, enchanted doors, talking animals, and magic. They created worlds where the tiniest object—a pea, a key, a mouse—could have the biggest impact, irrevocably changing lives for the better. They were simple, they were short, and their lessons were quickly expressed.

  • Stay on the path.
  • Don’t talk to strangers.
  • Don’t steal from giants.
  • Always be kind.

‘Beauty and the Beast’ was my most favorite. I loved imagining myself in Beauty’s shoes, creeping through the dark and deserted castle, stumbling across the angry Beast, certain I would do all the right things. I would nobly sacrifice myself for my father, I would come to see the Beast’s humanity and make sure that he discovered it himself, I would have really, really shiny hair.

I reread fairytales far longer than most. Though I’ve always “read up” for my age, I returned to those short stories again and again, wanting to relive those moments of magic, slipping into the familiar and beloved.

When I discovered Robin McKinley’s BEAUTY, I was amazed. This wasn’t just a few paragraphs, a chapter of an anthology; it was an entire book! For the first time, I got to see Beauty as a whole character, a real person who made decisions and had doubts. She wasn’t wholly good because she was wholly beautiful. She had fears and anxieties, she had friends and subplots.

I was in love.

After that, I devoured as many retellings as I could, overjoyed to discover new facets of so many beloved characters. New worlds and new journeys were there for the taking. And as I explored these bigger, more grown-up renditions, I took away new truths I’d not seen in the original tales.

  • There’s more to a heroine than being beautiful. Be brave, be clever, be witty.
  • He may be a prince but that doesn’t mean he’s the prince for you.
  • There won’t always be a handsome woodsman to save you. Sometimes the damsel needs to save herself.
  • At first glance, some characters won’t seem to deserve it—be kind anyway.

Once I began to write stories of my own, it was no surprise I returned to fairy tales. Taking on new versions of old favorites has allowed to me to examine what truly makes that story important, not just to me as the author, but to all the readers who pick up the book.

I wrote HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS balancing my notebook across the sprawled out form of my infant daughter. As I studied her sleeping face, I knew I had the chance to instill deep truths within a tale that at first glance is little more than shimmering slippers and midnight masquerades. Truths I hoped she’d discover for herself. Truths I wanted her to hold onto with all her might.

  • Sometimes the greatest relationship isn’t with the handsome suitor, it’s with your sisters, your family, your best friends. Treasure them all.
  • Appearances are often deceiving. If something inside urges you away from the status quo, listen to it. Your conscience will never lead you astray.
  • Life doesn’t pause for true love. There is always more to the story after happily ever after.
  • The world is a hard place but it need not make you hard. Always, always, always be kind.

Erin A. Craig

Erin A. Craig has always loved telling stories. After getting her BFA in Theatre Design and Production from the University of Michigan, she stage managed tragic operas filled with hunchbacks, séances, and murderous clowns, then decided she wanted to write books that were just as spooky. An avid reader, decent quilter, rabid basketball fan, and collector of typewriters, Erin makes her home in Memphis with her husband and daughter.
@Penchant4Words on Twitter and Instagram

Random House Teachers and Librarians