5 Stars, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Maria McCann

As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann

It’s said the opposite of love is not hate, nor is the opposite of hate love. The passion behind both emotions is too connected and too keen for them to be entirely contrary to each other. Crimes of passion, after all, have been committed in the name of both love and hate. Sometimes it’s difficult to detect a difference between the two.

No, the opposite of love and hate both is cold, cruel, and calculated indifference.

I am anything but indifferent toward this book.

I hate it with a passion that burns with the intensity of a thousand suns. I love this book with a passion that burns like a madness that has wormed its way into me and will never leave. Reading As Meat Loves Salt is a slow and subtle torture, like your skin is being flayed in small, barely discernible strips—until you reach the end and realize that you’re nothing but a raw nerve that’s been scoured by a story so gritty and seductive that it may very well ruin me for other books for some time to come.

As Meat Loves Salt is the sort of novel you read and it makes you realize how ridiculous it is to either rate or review it, because sometimes a book is so unparalleled there’s nothing to compare it to, nothing that you can use as a barometer against which to measure all you felt about it as you became absorbed by the words the author chose to tell the tale, words that were pure poetry and the writer’s postscript to a love affair with storytelling.

It is epic, from the gruesome opening to the forbidden obsession to the betrayal and eventual descent into madness; this is not a romance, nor is it a love story. It is a story of possession, of control, of dominance, of manipulation. It is the story of two men who misused the word love, when what they really meant was they wanted and needed each other with a fixation so overwhelming that it consumed them whole. It is a story of deception and a deceptive story, a study of virtue and vice, in which Patience, Wisdom, Grace, and Mercy are no more than mere humans, a story in which Courage and Providence stand shoulder to shoulder with Vanity and Shame, a book where Eternity is Hell not Paradise. There is no Eden, in the end, no Utopia where men and women will live as equals. In the end, there is only Sodom and Gomorrah and a pillar of salt to witness its destruction.

Too much salt will not preserve but spoil. Too much salt will not season but taint. “It seemed like wine and tobacco, I was delicious, but still not reckoned a necessity of life.” As oversalting is to meat, Jacob was to Christopher and Christopher was to Jacob—something that was so vast it set out to taint and spoil rather than to preserve.

I am lost to describe the beauty of this book. I reckon I’ll never read another like it again.

Buy As Meat Loves Salt HERE.


One thought on “As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann

  1. Pingback: Nicole Castle Redefines Romance In “Chance Assassins: A Story of Love, Luck, And Murder | The Novel Approach

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