Salt and Steel

Peter Padfield, Author Century Pub $0 (629p) ISBN 978-0-7126-9489-6
Set in the years leading up to and during World War I, this hefty historical saga follows one generation of the Steel fam ily, English aristocrats with ties to the sea. Henrietta Steel, her sister and broth ers are raised by a strong, embittered mother and a charming, hard-drinking father. Focusing mainly on the rebel lious Henrietta, Padfield recreates the children's world so meticulously that each of them, and their parents, are clearly realized. Reaching maturity, Henrietta pursues a career, remaining single long after most of her contempo raries have married. George, the eldest, and Willy, a dreamer, become Naval of ficers, while the imaginative Andy be comes a poet. It is here that the novel falters. Minor characters who cross the paths of the scattered Steel children take on undue importance, and information is passed between the siblings by letter or through third parties. History enthusi asts will enjoy the accurate military de tail Padfield (author of The Titanic and the Californian and many nonfiction works with military backgrounds) has woven into the last third of his novel. Others may feel that the loss of a strong central focus has distanced them from the story. (December
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Paperback - 828 pages - 978-1-910198-35-3
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