House of Salt
By Giles Aspinall
Giles Aspinall grew up in the middle of England, but when we was old enough to know better he moved south and west. His passion is the environment and his background is in environmental education.
After volunteering in the Canary Islands, (hanging around on boats watching dolphins), and a decade with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (hanging around in woods drinking tea), he has spent all the last few years running a small charity with its own organic farm.
During the writing of House of Salt, much of his local area spent a full winter underwater - a sight as beautiful as it was tragic.
'A stunningly good first novel. Beautifully structured and very well written. With its central theme of global warming and the rise in sea level that will inevitably accompany it, GM Aspinall's book should appeal to readers inside and outside the SF genre. Expect to be worried and delighted by this work!' - Reader Review on Amazon
How will you deal with it when your world changes for ever? When the seas claim her home and reshape the world, it’s enough to make Jac lose her temper. She cannot win: she wants to defeat the sea.
Twenty years after the world is changed forever, Jac has a terrifying ordeal in the London Underground when the Thames Barrier is breached and the sea comes in to claim the city. From that day forth, her every moment is bent on beating it back. It is an obsession that takes over her life and makes her saviour of city. But success goes to her head and leads her to a terrible mistake that costs lives uncounted. Her compulsion to fight that which cannot be beaten takes Jac over the edge of sanity and into a darkness that threatens to consume her utterly. As cities become shipwrecks and nations are awash, Salt is unbroken by it all. But while the wrath of nature cannot touch him, human nature is far more treacherous.
Salt’s life is measured in the homes he builds – a shack to take refuge in as his home is drowned, then a house to celebrate a success which must eventually come crashing down in flames and betrayal. Then finally back to his roots, at peace with the world, a hut on an island that still stands proud of the risen sea. Salt must reinvent himself whenever fate destroys his exhausting and dangerous way of life. On the way will be love and hatred, greed and betrayal, a disgraceful father that stubbornly refuses to die and a dogged simplicity that just might see him through.
Ruth is Salt’s daughter, born after the seas rose. She is a child of the remade world and finds wonder all around her. The hang-ups and obsessions of the old-timers wishing for an England she never saw are of no interest to Ruth. There is still life to lead, an inexhaustible wealth of experiences to dive into and absorb. Ruth travels the world in search of stories of human ingenuity and triumph, only to find her father’s the most inspiring of them all. She comes home when Salt’s life is in tatters to help him pick up the pieces, but it is Jac with her unwinnable crusade who she must focus on, before the crazy old woman does something truly, truly dreadful.
Set sometime in the near future and shot through with hints of science fiction, House of Salt is novel about how a world, a country, but most importantly, a single family responds to catastrophic environmental change.
Don’t worry - things probably won’t get quite this bad. Probably not.
Independently Published - Paperback
ISBN: 9781513609058 - 176.000 words - 490 pages
World Rights Available (incl. World English)