Praise for Love and Salt

lovesalt

Love and Salt is full of sacramental imagination. Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith render things like a walk through a graveyard, a dream about an elevator, and a Neil Young song into something else entirely…These writers are practiced at seeing Catholicly: casting a sacramental glance at the world.” –The Christian Century

 

 

 

“It is hard not to treat this book, so uncommonly honest, almost with reverence, for within its pages lies such personal and raw emotion that treating it with anything less would feel wrong.”
Catholic News Service

“Combining a modern sensibility with ancient spiritual wisdom, Love and Salt vividly demonstrates how two friends can become companions on the road to God.”
–The 2014 Christopher Awards

 With each letter, Andrews and Griffith reveal something of what it means to be people of faith, whether confronted by the profound or by the quotidian, or by both at once…Even their wry admissions are always already reframed by higher-order concerns.
First Things

Love & Salt is an achingly beautiful new book … each [letter] a deep soul dive that leaves you savoring, while yearning for the next – revealing an exquisite, honest, heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful portrait of two lives deeply lived, contemplated, shared, and redeemed in the context of the search for God.”
— Debra Arca, Managing Editor Patheos

“There’s so much to love here: two articulate women who are not afraid to share their doubts and flaws as well as their joys and discoveries. It’s not that much of a stretch to call this something like an epistolary novel: you’ll get involved in their lives. You’ll wonder how the story is going to turn out. You’ll encounter love and loss, crises and triumphs, but throughout it hear these moving, honest voices—hungry for God yet vulnerable, wise, and true to one another.”
–Gregory Wolfe, IMAGE

“Jessica is a treasure. If you don’t know her, you should. Your life will never be the same. She will love you and hug you and call you her own. She is straight up brilliant and hella creative. She loves Jesus and New Orleans and the Catholic church. She is also HI-larious.”
–Tammy Perlmutter, Editor, The Mudroom

On Faith & Intimacy: Love & Salt for Brevity by Brad Modlin

“Entirely epistolary, the book begins during Lent, when Amy is preparing to convert to Catholicism and Jess is sponsoring her from hours away. Rather than giving up chocolate, each woman commits to handwriting a letter a day to the other. Hence the letters from the beginning are personal discussions of faith. What does it mean to be Catholic? Amy wonders. And Jess, Catholic from the cradle, wonders that too. Each woman is honest about both doubts and belief, and the reader soon draws the parallel between the risk of their friendship and the risk of committing to a God whom neither woman can ever fully know.”

“Within the context of their journeys — both joyous and unbelievably tragic — the women discuss theology, many times quoting the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, Pope Benedict XVI and J.R.R. Tolkien. This line from a letter from Andrews helps illustrate the book: ‘We press God out in the pages of our letters, ironing and ironing, like two old-fashioned women. We mail him back and forth, and pile him up, like a basket of linen.’ The women use their letters to iron out God and to unravel a knot of confusion and doubt about faith amid careers and motherhood. Andrews and Griffith are clever and descriptive writers, and their different writing styles keep the book interesting for readers looking for entertainment and those looking for education. Andrews’ letters are long and thick with ruminations about heaven, doubt and spirituality. She is the deep thinker, the one responsible for the lengthy St. Teresa quotes. On the other hand, Griffith’s letters are oftentimes short and bittersweet. They are peppered with humor, self-deprecation and beautifully vivid memories of her childhood.”

Sacrament of friendship by Valerie Weaver-Zercher for The Christian Century

“The passion of the prose both elevates this book to a literary creation and is likely to leave some readers feeling the urge for a nap. One line by Andrews anticipates readers’ sense of standing outside of a dyad, unable to comprehend the intensity within it. “It is almost impossible to enter into other people’s love,” she writes about a television show that has been panned for being sentimental. “From the perspective of a distant acquaintance, the emotion of a wedding or funeral always seems overdone.” Still, through wide and intelligent references not only to their own lives and conclusions but to the writings of Catholic saints and literary giants, Andrews and Griffith turn Love and Salt into much more than a mutual navel gaze.”

Sister to Sister for The Living Church by Amy Real Coultas.

“In Love and Salt: A Spiritual Friendship Shared in Letters, Amy Andrews and Jessica Mesman Griffith endeavor to be those hands of God for each other as they share their struggles across two years of letters, hoping “to preserve and make sense of our daily lives,” and writing each day “to confess and console, to rant and grieve.” Their exchanges began as a daily Lenten discipline, but continued even after Andrews was confirmed at Easter. “We wrote because it was the only way we knew how to pray,” the two recall in the book’s prelude. The following chapters describe all those realities of what it means to be human—conversion, doubt, hope, birth, death, love, anger—told with the frankness and humor and abundant compassion of best friends. The two writers refer often to the biblical narrative, their participation in the sacraments, and stories of the saints of the Church, along with other Christian writers.”

Lent in letters: Two Women Deepen Faith, Friendship by Dave Hrbacek for The Catholic Spirit

“Far from being brief thoughts on the mundane aspects of life, the letters were lengthy and deep, probing some of life’s toughest questions, like why a loving God allows suffering. Joys, sorrows, anxieties, frustrations and reflections all are woven together into a continuous string of writings that helped Amy discover—and Jess rediscover—the season of Lent. “I think through writing these letters and having this daily observance, I have really entered that story of Lent for the first time,” Amy said. “And, I just never felt the joy of Easter the way that I did that Easter [in 2005] because I felt like I had really been through the exercise of Lent.” Said Jess: “I had been through Lent countless times and yet I had never really engaged. I think I had gone through the motions, but I had never really understood the purpose or the power of some of these traditions. And so, to be a sponsor and to be walking with someone who is converting . . . was just a completely life-changing experience.”

 

 

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