The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

July 5, 2016 Whitney Review 1 Comment

The Price of Salt by Patricia HighsmithThe Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
Published by Blackstone Audio on August 4, 2015
Genres: General Fiction
Source: Library

Patricia Highsmith's story of sexual obsession may be one of the most important, but still largely unrecognized, novels of the twentieth century.

First published in 1952 under the pseudonym Claire Morgan and touted as "the novel of a love society forbids," the book soon became a lesbian cult classic. Yet it was always relegated to a mystery subgenre and never before given the literary recognition that it is now receiving.

Based on a true story plucked from Highsmith's own life, The Price of Salt, tells the riveting story of Therese Belivet, a stage designer trapped in a department store day job, whose routine is forever shattered by an erotic epiphany—the appearance of Carol Aird, a customer who comes in to buy her daughter a Christmas toy. Therese begins to stalk the alluring suburban housewife, who is trapped in a marriage as stultifying as Therese's job. They fall in love and set out across the United States, pursued by a private investigator who eventually blackmails Carol into a choice between her daughter and her lover.

First Impressions

I thought the beginning of The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmithwas a little slow going. I will be the first to admit that it took some time to get into. Although things picked up quickly after a visit to a department store counter.

Impressions While Reading

The first thing that struck me was the writing, it was beautifully formed and could tell each word had been chosen with care creating a lyrical telling.  Carol and Therese were vividly drawn characters and could easily picture them and felt they had a believable relationship.

Impressions on Narration

This was the first book I had listen to that was narrated by Cassandra Campbell and loved it!  She has great pacing and inflection giving a wonderful reading experience.

Final Impressions

I found The Price of Salt to be a heartbreaking novel, of a couple who cannot be together due to a Kirk Cameron view on same-sex couples. It made me sad to think how slowly change has come in this subject and therefore, is a theme that is still relevent today.


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