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  • Writer's pictureRachel Schommer

Rachel Schommer Reviews: 5.20.24

I'm not usually one to be peer pressured, except when it comes to reading. I've also never been one to care much about the Stokers, however, my fellow UDH reviewer, Christina Pfeiffer has pretty much never steered me wrong when it comes to a "you gotta read this" and this week's review is no exception. The Stokers really know what they're doing!


THE SALT GROWS HEAVY by Cassandra Khaw


1. I’ve been avoiding reading Khaw due to so many reviews mentioning their confusing and verbose way of writing. I’m not a complete idiot, but I also want reading to be a relatively easy and enjoyable pastime for me, not something I have to spend a ton of mental effort for while also working a 40+ hour week. However, I’m mad at myself for putting Khaw off for so long! They write so beautifully and lyrically that I used an impressive number of highlights and tabs in this short 106-page novella. The writing style very much reminds me of Eric LaRocca, so if you, like me, have been putting Khaw off, but you read LaRocca, I’d highly recommend diving into Cassandra Khaw as well.

2. Wow, this was dark. Bleak. Layered. I loved ‘The Little Mermaid’ as a child. My entire room was decorated in an Ariel theme at one point in time, so when I realized there was a modern dark retelling of one of my favorite Disney fairytales I had to read it. Holy shit, y’all. There are so. many. layers to this story there were times I had to close the book and just sit with something for a while. I particularly enjoyed Khaw’s interpretation of many kinds of love beautifully spread across the pages. Love for one’s children, romantic love, love for home, etc. How it’s not always easy, how it can just as easily destroy you as it can build you back up. How the right kind of love reminds you of who you are when you’ve lost your identity somewhere in the shuffle of daily life, motherhood, responsibility.

3. Khaw writes pain in a way that is so viscerally relatable you can’t help but feel it for yourself as you read.

4. Lastly, for anyone who enjoys a statement on the strength and societal expectations of women…this one is for you.

              “It is always interesting to see how often women are described as ravenous when it is the men who, without exception, take without thought of compensation.”

              “You frightened him. How men fear things that can’t be quieted.”


I don't do this much, but 5/5 for an absolutely stunning read!

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