It’s hard to remember now that I was once that girl, lying in the sand in my red swimsuit and swimming late into the day. Sharkbait, he called me.
It’s in the water where she first sees him: a local man almost twenty years her senior. Adrift in the summer after finishing college, a young woman is on holiday with her mother in an isolated Australian coastal town. Finding herself pulled to Jude, the man in the water, she begins losing herself in the simple, seductive rhythms of his everyday life.
As their relationship deepens, life at Sailors Beach offers her the stability she has been craving as the daughter of two drifters—a loving but impulsive mother and an itinerant father. But the arrival of Maeve, a friend from Jude’s past, threatens to rock their fragile, newfound intimacy. And when she witnesses something she doesn’t fully understand, she finds herself questioning everything—about Jude, about herself, about the life she has and the one she wants.
A magnetic and unforgettable story of desire and its complexities, and a powerful reckoning with memory, loss, and longing, Madelaine Lucas’s debut novel, Thirst for Salt, reveals with stunning, sensual immediacy the way the past can hold us in its thrall, shaping who we are and what we love.