The Salt House: A Summer on the Dunes of Cape Cod

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University Press of New England, Feb 1, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 183 pages
8 Reviews
The Salt House is a beautifully observed and written memoir of a long summer's stay on the back shore of Cape Cod. Each chapter is like a prose poem, shedding increasing light on the challenge of finding "home" without the illusion of permanence, a quest based not on ownership but on affinity and familiarity with an area and its people. Cynthia Huntington expands her theme through images of the landscape, the shack, the new marriage.

The shack, named "Euphoria," is built as a house set on stilts above the sand, to take the wind under it. Only a partial shelter, it is inhabited for only one season a year, yet it endures. The outer cape has the feel of a place for migrants and drifters -- for birds and other wildlife, and for people such as artists, fishermen, and coast guardsmen. A place where "year-round" often means several addresses. Similarly, her narrative describes improvised, fragile beginnings: a new marriage, learning to be at home in the world, becoming intimate with the natural world, without the necessity of settling down. The Salt House shares a world that is less natural history or memoir than it is neighborhood exploration -- the process of learning a place and becoming native to it.

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Review: The Salt House

User Review  - Rebecca - Goodreads

This is a book that lulls you into the slow pace of beach days. There are observations and histories, but all presented in a soothing narration. Read full review

Review: The Salt House

User Review  - Sheila - Goodreads

Beautifully written account of a writer and artist who spent three summers in a P-town dune shack. However, if reading several pages about the daily habits of the piping plovers sounds dull, then this is not for you. It reminded me of "Walden". Lots of observations on nature. Read full review

About the author (2003)

CYNTHIA HUNTINGTON, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth, also teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College. Author of We Have Gone to the Beach (1996) and The Fish-Wife (1986), she has a long association with Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center

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