It's in the water where she first sees him: a local man almost twenty years her senior. Adrift in the summer after finishing college, a young woman is on holiday with her mother in an isolated Australian coastal town. Finding herself pulled to Jude, the man in the water, she begins losing herself in the simple, seductive rhythms of his everyday life. As their relationship deepens, life at Sailors Beach offers her the stability she has been craving as the daughter of two drifters. But the arrival of Maeve, a friend from Jude's past, threatens to rock their fragile, newfound intimacy. And when she witnesses something she doesn't fully understand, she finds herself questioning everything—about Jude, about herself, about the life she has and the one she wants.
Fissures widen as the vexed questions of marriage and parenthood enter their private idyll, and Ms. Lucas captures their dissolution with the same heightened attention and clear expression: Grief emerges as love’s complement ... In the arc of this simple story, as with most of its insights, Thirst for Salt does not break any new ground, nor does it seek to. Its power is in the poignancy of recognition. It offers an honest, often beautiful reminder of the overwhelming emotions that all of us have felt but spend most of our daily lives trying to subdue.
Lucas’ rolling, gleaming, beguiling prose is saturated with desire, sensuous bliss, worry, fear, and anger as her narrator looks back at her mother’s life, her own childhood, and the highs and lows of her profoundly erotic, ultimately shipwrecked romance.
Intelligent ... There’s not much of a plot involving this well-trod story of a fractured love affair, but Lucas keenly captures the relationship’s slow erosion, as well as the narrator’s ability to make sense of her past while looking back on it. The author’s psychological acuity will keep readers piqued.