Page, Jeremy 1969-
Page, Jeremy 1969-
Born September 30, 1969.
Film Four, London, England, script editor.
Salt, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.
Jeremy Page has worked as a script editor for Film Four, Britain's Channel Four filmmaking division. He is also the author of Salt, described by a Kirkus Reviews contributor as "a slowly paced debut novel in which the sights, smells and lore of the landscape of Norfolk, England, play at least as great a role as the characters who inhabit it."
The mute-by-choice narrator, Pip Langore, narrates the story of three generations of his family, beginning with his grandmother, Goose. During World War II the young reclusive Goose, who lives alone in a cottage and reads the future in the clouds, rescues a downed German airman from the sea. She washes the marsh mud from his body, cares for him, and eventually becomes pregnant by him. Hans, called Hands by the townspeople, helps Goose make repairs to her cottage and does a bit of gambling at the local pub. He has no intention of becoming a permanent resident, however. In planning to escape he locates a map at the pub and prepares a rickety boat for his retreat, taking Goose's favorite quilt to use for a sail. He heads out onto the North Sea just as his daughter is about to be born. She is Lil, Pip's mother, who, when she becomes a young woman, is courted by two brothers, Kipper and Shrimp Langore. She marries Shrimp, whose real name is George, and Pip is born. Lil, who spent so many years with her mother on the marshes, finds it impossible to adapt to a new life on a farm, and even the birth of her son does little to alleviate her loneliness.
Pip chooses not to speak and is moved to do so only by his love for the beautiful red-haired Elsie. Instead he writes of the actions and fates of those he knows and is related to, "all of them living and losing their way on this thin strip of saltmarsh which can never be called land and never be called sea."
Lisa Mullen reviewed the novel for the Time Out London Web site, noting Page's attention to "storytelling and the slipperiness of truth—the way it nestles treacherously in vast marshes of falsehood, and brings madness to anyone who tries to follow it there." In a Library Journal review, Jim Coan wrote of this story: "The result is really a long tone poem on the nature of life in a harsh and primitive environment."
Michael Leonard reviewed Salt for the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site, writing that "the novel is a lovingly rendered homage to the landscape of Norfolk, where a complicated fabric of stories, lies and mythologies is passed down from each generation. Author Jeremy Page does a beautiful job of presenting the ceaseless choreography of tides, creeks, birds and salt, and the story, for the most part, is generally refreshingly vigorous."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Page, Jeremy, Salt, Viking (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, May 15, 2007, Allison Block, review of Salt, p. 22.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2007, review of Salt.
Library Journal, July 1, 2007, Jim Coan, review of Salt, p. 84.
Publishers Weekly, May 28, 2007, review of Salt, p. 36.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (December 23, 2007), Michael Leonard, review of Salt.
Independent Online,http://arts.independent.co.uk/ (June 12, 2007), Tom Cox, review of Salt.
Time Out London,http://www.timeout.com/london/ (May 29, 2007), Lisa Mullen, review of Salt.