SALT THE SNOW
BY CARRIE CALLAGHAN
Publication Date: February 4, 2020
Chicago Review Press
eBook & Hardcover; 304 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart. Salt the Snow is a vivid and impeccably researched tale of a woman ahead of her time, searching for her true calling in life and love.
“The vivid prose of Salt the Snow sets the reader in the middle of socioeconomic upheavals and political unrest with the best possible tour guide, wisecracking American journalist Milly Bennett. Callaghan excels at bringing little-known real-life women out of the darkness of historical obscurity and into the light of recognition. From the first scene, the reader is plunged into a world of suspense and intrigue, led by an unforgettable protagonist. Milly is not so much a character as a fully realized, complex human being: her brilliance and self-sufficiency are admirable, and her loneliness and feelings of unworthiness are heartbreaking. A fascinating novel!” —Clarissa Harwood, author of Impossible Saints and Bear No Malice
“A vivid, well-researched story of a complex and ahead-of-her-time woman, an American journalist, who finds herself—head and heart—while living and working in an equally complex Russia.” —Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie
“Salt the Snow is a vivid journey through the kaleidoscope of 1930s Europe with an irrepressible and all too human guide in Milly Bennett. Don’t miss this book and its unforgettable heroine!” —Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King and The Golden Wolf
“Honest, vivid, and bold in the face of historical truths, Salt the Snow is a captivating story of a woman whose vulnerability and hopeful idealism resonate even today.” —Jennifer Klepper, bestselling author of Unbroken Threads
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
Millie Bennett is a jet setting, free-spirited journalist in the 1930's. Millie has covered events in San Francisco, Hawaii and war in China. Now, she is in Moscow working for the Moscow Daily News. Millie mostly covers fluff stories and works on translations. However, Millie longs to write stories of the effects of socialism , stories that matter. Millie is able to experience firsthand the issues that arise with the system of government when her Russian husband, Zhenya is arrested. Millie assumes that his arrest is due to a story she wrote and desperately tries to get him out. However, when it is revealed that Zhenya was arrested for lewd behavior, Millie reveals more secrets about her marriage as well as the government.
Salt the Snow introduced me to the fascinating life of the first female war corespondent, Millie Bennett. I never would have imagined that there were female war corespondents in the 1930's, much less one like Millie! I was pulled into her vivacious character in the very first scene with her arrival home from a party. Carrie Callaghan's writing brings 1930's Moscow to life, as despondent as it may be. Millie's spirit never seemed to fit in with the setting. She always seemed to be a bright and animated character in a dreary and repressed place. In the first half of the story, the writing bounces back and forth between before Zhenya was arrested and after before settling into a linear timeline. I found the first half of the story interesting, but not exciting. I was curious about Millie's interactions with the government, especially the police as well as the conditions for the rest of the population in Moscow. I was also questioning whether or not Millie truly realized her husbands secret or was simply hiding it from herself. The pace picked up a bit for me as Millie actions attracted the attention of the police and she decided that what had happened to Zhenya as well as herself needed to be documented, even if it could not be published for a while. From Moscow, Millie escaped to Spain, I wish her story would have been continued there!
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
Carrie Callaghan is a writer living in Maryland with her spouse, two young children, and two ridiculous cats. Her short fiction has appeared in Weave Magazine, The MacGuffin, Silk Road, Floodwall, and elsewhere. Carrie is also an editor and contributor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She has a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
For more information, please visit Carrie Callaghan’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.