A Year of Orenda – We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard (trns David Warriner)

Today I pass the blog back to Mandie who has a review of Roxanne Bouchard’s We Were The Salt of the Sea. I thoroughly enjoyed this book , loving the lyrical and almost mystical nature of some of the story and the quirkiness of the characters. You can read my thoughts here. Read on to find out more about the book and to see if Mandie agrees.

Source: Amazon

About the Book

As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots.

Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…

Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Available from: Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books | Hive

Mandie’s Thoughts

I actually have no idea how I am going to write a review that will do this book justice. It really is quite different from a lot of things I have read before, but I was definitely drawn into the story of Catherine Day as she tries to find out more about her birth mother Marie Garant. When Marie’s body is found at sea, Catherine is left with more questions than answers and the community that had initially welcomed her suddenly became more of a closed book. Whilst some were prepared to tell her a little about her mother, others were not as pleased to see the past being brought back. Sergeant Morales tasked with determining if Marie’s death was an accident also struggled with the community’s unwillingness to help someone they clearly considered to be an outsider. Distracted by his own personal issues and the interference of others he may not have been paying as much attention to the case as you would expect him to I had originally started to listen to it on audio book, but I quickly switched to the eBook as I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss any of the story. As secrets and history are revealed you get to see just how much one person had affected the whole community.

Like Catherine I was drawn mainly to Cyrille. He more than most had known what Catherine’s mother was like and you could tell that despite everything he still had some affection for her which he extended to her daughter. Catherine on the other hand was harder to like. With the story starting with a woman giving birth on a boat you do get a sense that the journey comes full circle by the end of the book. We Were the Salt of the Sea is not fast paced or full of action, but it is full of character and gives the reader a real sense of the small fishing community that is at its heart. At times it made me smile and then others you couldn’t help but feel for some of the people Marie had left behind.

Does this book have possible murder at its heart – yes but somehow for me it was not the main focus of the book, for me it was the lives of the fishermen and the whole community, how it pulled together and guarded its secrets that are the real draw and will I feel stick with me for quite some time.

About the Author


Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.

You can follow Roxanne Bouchard on Twitter: @RBouchard72

Books by Roxanne Bouchard

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