THE SALT BOX by Jan Hilliard

THE SALT BOX

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A family story of life in Nova Scotia covers the years when Father, a remittance man from England, traipsed far for a fortune and his motherless five remained at the Old Salt Box waiting for the word to move. Gerald (""Gent"") Hilliard en route to British Columbia buys an ""estate"", acquires a wife, and, slightly casually, begets the five -- Lance, Louise, Eileen, Jan, and Vicky -- and keeps on wandering, further West, for his luck. This is Jan's story of the life at home, with Aunt Belle, a spinster, riding hard on the assorted young ones; Uncle Harry, who reads behind the barn, ready for a corrective word here and there, and Aunt Emily coming for summer visits from New York. And so the episodes string along -- the near neighbors; the planned and plotted household economy while waiting for Father to make his strike; the erratic behavior of their old horse who let them down, and held them up, in the growing traffic; the Church of England, and other denominational threats; the questions of school -- and music, and various teachers-; Aunt Emily and her personal hand grenades delivered into the mist of close family life; and the final decision to sell the Salt Box -- only to find Father is not yet ready to take them with him. An inadequate security for the youngsters still adds up to a childhood recall that has its humor, and tenderness- and style. For that general looking- backwards appeal that does not seem to state.

Publisher: Norton