'An ode to the ocean, and the generations of women drawn to the waves or left waiting on the shore' Guardian
In Salt On Your Tongue, Charlotte Runcie explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. In mesmerising prose, she explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue.
This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It's an ode to our oceans - to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beachcombers, swimmers, seabirds and mermaids. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.
"This motherhood memoir-cum-nature journal about the connection between women and the sea is bracing and poetic . . . Throughout, her prose is defined by cool confidence and unshowy clarity, allowing its more poetic observations, of which there are plenty, to glimmer like glass pebbles . . . Just like her favourite kind of blustery beach, it's strewn with pocketable treasures" (Observer)
"Women and water are the subjects of Charlotte Runcie's seductive history . . . Intoxicating . . . Runcie is a fine guiding star: wise, curious, sensitive to language and landscape . . . At its best her writing hauntingly captures the whispered wave and wash of the sea" (The Times)
"An ode to the ocean, and the generations of women drawn to the waves or left waiting on the shore . . . A wide, eclectic cast of characters wash in and out on the tide of her poetic prose" (Guardian)
"A seductive, estuarine merging of personal memoir and scholarly reportage . . . Runcie has a beachcomber's mind and a poet's turn of phrase" (Daily Telegraph)
"A very beautiful book about myth and motherhood - a memoir that intertwines effortlessly and poetically with tales of the sea. Salt On Your Tongue has a rare magic to it" (SOPHIE MACKINTOSH, Booker-longlisted author of THE WATER CURE)
"Runcie has combined an exploration of Scotland's seascape with the story of her pregnancy and the birth of her daughter . . . Breathless, intimate . . . Very much in the vein of bestsellers The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald" (Mail on Sunday)
"A wise and wonderful book, charting intensely personal moments against the constant yet ever-changing sea. A story of birth, loss, memory and motherhood, spliced with vivid observations of the natural world and collected myth, lore and legend, Charlotte Runcie's voice is by turns practical and poetic, objective and beguiling. An utterly immersive read" (JESS KIDD, author of HIMSELF and THE HOARDER)
"An intensely personal paean to the sea. Runcie interweaves her experience of an unplanned first pregnancy with her attraction to the seashore and the stories of women who traditionally waited for ships to come home" (Ruth Scurr Spectator, Books of the Year)
"A lyrical exploration of the complex relationship between women, the sea and their own reproductive biology . . . Her description of childbirth - in all its visceral, growling, bloody intensity - is astonishingly powerful . . . . Beguiling" (Herald)
"An expectant mother's diary is also a treasure trove of lore and legend and a moving tribute to the grandmother who inspired a lifelong love of beachcombing . . . A lyrical, impassioned and curious book . . . Elegantly done" (Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday)