“…[T]he narrative twists and turns…. This mystery-like structure keeps the reader guessing as Jones switches seamlessly from evocative pastoral descriptions of North Carolina and Tennessee to action-packed scenes of violence. Along the way, she explores themes of environmental degradation, technological dependence, and corporate greed. At once dark, disturbing, and highly enjoyable, this is a timely novel bursting with ideas.” — Booklist
“Fans of Jones will appreciate her return to an ensemble-driven narrative, and new fans will find social commentary and intense thrills rolled into one seamless story. Outwardly an adventure story, this suspenseful novel uses a thrilling premise to examine the fallout of abandoning universal freedoms in order to ensure collective safety.” — Publishers Weekly
Such great buzz has been happening for THE SALT LINE over the last two months and here’s a quick rundown of some highlights:
— Received a starred Kirkus review that called the novel “darkly clever.”
— Selected as a SIBA “Okra” pick, a program where the Southern Indie Bookseller Association highlights the top 12 books of the season to hand sell.
— Named one of the best southern books of the year by Southern Living Magazine
— Praised as “both gripping and emotionally resonant, both suspenseful and heartfelt” by Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
— One of Putnam’s featured titles at BEA 2017
In a nutshell, THE SALT LINE is a literary dystopian novel set in a not-so-distant future. U.S. borders have been redrawn and recede behind a “salt line,” a ring of scorched earth that protects citizens from a deadly disease-carrying tick. Those inside the salt line live a safe, comfortable life and only extreme adventure seekers journey beyond the line to the wilderness. When one group of thrill seekers ventures beyond the line, they quickly find themselves not only at the mercy of these deadly ticks but held captive by a community of outer-zone survivors.
Advance Praise for THE SALT LINE
“Jones’ darkly clever worldbuilding creates a nightmare that seems far from unthinkable, from the bug-borne health crisis and climate issues to anti-abortion legislation (they call it feticide) and severe socio-economic division. It’s The Hunger Games meets The Godfather meets Robin Cook, with female characters playing all the key roles. Hell, yeah.” — Kirkus (starred review)
“The Salt Line is a ‘literary thriller’ that manages to fulfill each side of that phrase with admirable vigor. It’s both gripping and emotionally resonant, both suspenseful and heartfelt. Holly Goddard Jones has a true storyteller’s instinct for suspense, along with a deep gift for empathy. She’ll make your heart race as you turn the pages, and then she’ll crack it open a little before she’s through.” — Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
“With this intense, arrestingly vivid fever dream, Holly Goddard Jones fully realizes a completely original and wholly terrifying dystopian nightmare. Jones’s wild, ventriloquist talent unfurls in this novel like never before. Each magnetic character in The Salt Line is boldly alive to the novel’s world, at once monstrous, uncanny, and yet entirely ours.” — Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn
About THE SALT LINE
Winner of the prestigious Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Award for Fiction, the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and the Kentucky Literary Award, Holly Goddard Jones garnered outstanding praise from fellow writers Kate Atkinson (“rich in character…immensely satisfying”) and Gillian Flynn (“mesmerizing”) and rave reviews from the New York Times (“impressive…well-rounded”) and USA Today (“beautifully articulate”) when her debut novel The Next Time You See Me was released in 2013. Shifting from suspenseful contemporary fiction to literary dystopia, Jones returns this September with THE SALT LINE (Putnam; On Sale September 5, 2017), a gripping story of survival and humanity.
Set in the southeast in an undisclosed future, the United States has been divided into zones with metropolitan borders receding behind “salt lines,” rings of scorched earth that protect citizens from a deadly disease-carrying tick. Those inside the salt line live a safe, comfortable life, and only extreme adventure seekers and adrenaline junkies journey beyond the line to the American wilderness. When one group of thrill seekers — each with his and her own agenda — ventures beyond the line, they quickly find themselves not only at the mercy of these deadly ticks, but held captive by a community of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their own existence.
Mirroring real-world issues from today’s headlines, THE SALT LINE features a wealthy businessman with menacing political aspirations, an insect carrying a deadly disease, a great physical and societal divide between the wealthy and disenfranchised, and a future where abortion is outlawed. Into this dismal world, Jones brings strong diverse female protagonists who dominate the plotline, controlling their own stories instead of furthering those of male leads.
THE SALT LINE is an engrossing read that will keep you up at night (and keep you feeling like something is crawling on you!).
About HOLLY GODDARD JONES
Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Next Time You See Me and the story collection Girl Trouble. She was a recipient of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Award for Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her MFA from Ohio State University and her BA from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.Share