584 pages, 9.1 × 6 × 1 in
November 8, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 015601226X
ISBN - 13: 9780156012263
Read from the Book
ON THE MORNING we dragged the pond for Patience White, I bent so far down trying to see beneath the surface that my own face peered up at me, twisted and frowning. The three of us had churned up the water until it was half mud and spattered with flecks of weed before I knocked my foot against something loose and heavy that lolled about as we splashed. I tried to push it away from us, but too late.
'It is she.' Izzy's lips were drawn back from his teeth.
I shook my head. 'That's a log.'
'No, Jacob - here, here-'
He seized my hand and plunged it in the water near his right leg. My heart fairly battered my ribs. I touched first his ankle, then wet cloth wound tight around something which moved.
'I think that's an arm,' Izzy said quietly.
'I think it is, Brother.' Feeling along it, I found cold slippery flesh, which I levered upwards to the air. It was certainly an arm, and at the end of it a small hand, wrinkled from the water. I heard My Lady, standing on the bank, cry out, 'Poor girl, poor girl!'
Zebedee reached towards the freckled fingers. 'That's never - Jacob, do you not see?'
'Quiet.' I had no need of his nudging, for I knew what we had hold of. Ever since we had been ordered to drag the pond I had been schooling myself for this.
'You forget the rope,' called Godfrey from the warm safety of the bank.
I looked round and saw the end of it trailing in the water on the other side of the pond, while we floundered. 'Fetch it, can't you?' I asked him.
Table of Contents
5Over the Edge
11The Man of Bones
13Eve of Nativity
17Brothers and Sisters
18The Uses of a Map
20As Meat Loves Salt
22What's Past Repair
26Things Called By Their Right Names
27Things Not To Be Compelled
28The Stuff of Jest
From the Publisher
In the seventeenth century, the English Revolution is under way. The nation, seething with religious and political discontent, has erupted into violence and terror. Jacob Cullen and his fellow soldiers dream of rebuilding their lives when the fighting is over. But the shattering events of war will overtake them.
A darkly erotic tale of passion and obsession, As Meat Loves Salt is a gripping portrait of England beset by war. It is also a moving portrait of a man on the brink of madness. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a first novel by a most original new voice in fiction.
A Harvest Original
From the Jacket
"This is an outstanding debut novel, a fresh and unusual achievement . . . As the title implies, it has all the dirt, stink, rasp and flavour of the time." - The Daily Telegraph (London)
Torn in two by a vicious Civil War, Seventeenth Century England was the scene of extraordinary violence. Among the soldiers travelling across the country from one deadly battle to another is Jacob Cullen, a former servant who dreams of baptizing himself with the blood of battle into a new life after the war. Only his brewing erotic obsession with a fellow fighter threatens his plans.
A dark, erotic tale of passion and obsession, AS MEAT LOVES SALT is a gripping portrait of England beset by war, and the harrowing tale of a man on the edge of madness. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is an extraordinary first novel by a most original new voice in fiction.
"Creeps up on the reader from behind, gathering an emotional momentum and intensity . . . it imaginatively re-creates the mentality of a society racked by war and intoxicated by radical new ideas of freedom and change. "--Times Literary Supplement (London)
"An inventive and vigorous debut novel set in 17th century England at a time of revolution ... urgent and energetic, full of voluptuous descriptions of food, paintings and lifestyles, as well as the war scenes. [Maria McCann's] language is bold and alive, and the reader is drawn into the story right from the start."-- Independent on Sunday (London)
Maria McCann was born in Liverpool in 1956. Since 1985 she has been a lecturer in English at a Somerset college. As Meat Loves Salt is her first book.
A Harvest Original
About the Author
Maria McCann was born in Liverpool in 1956, and educated there and at the University of Durham. Since 1985 she has been a lecturer in English at Somerset College. As Meat Loves Salt is her first book.
The 17th-century English revolution serves as backdrop to this brilliant, ambitious epic, the story of a compelling antihero who struggles against his own violent tendencies to little avail. Jacob Cullen, the well-intentioned but volatile narrator, is forced to flee his wedding ceremony with bride Caro and brother Zebedee when he learns that he is about to be accused of a murder he rashly committed, perhaps in self-defense. Shocked by Jacob's brutality, Caro takes off with Zeb, and the bereft Jacob is forced to become a soldier in Cromwell's army after being rescued by a soldier named Christopher Ferris. When Christopher deserts, he brings Jacob with him, giving him shelter in his family home in London. Their friendship, already charged, slips gradually into clandestine romance, and the two become passionate lovers. The trajectory of their relationship shapes the second half of the novel, as does a utopian project undertaken by Christopher with Jacob's help. Disillusioned with society, Christopher attempts to cobble together a tiny, independent farming colony, an effort that brings out the bully in Jacob and strains their relationship as the authorities move in to break up the group. Jacob, meanwhile, edges closer to learning the fate of Caro and Zebedee. The first half of McCann's narrative is rather slow moving, but she does a superb job of mustering historical detail and atmosphere in the service of a stunning character portrait of the troubled but charismatic Jacob. The s