""At first I tried to memorise every face, like milestones on the way that could draw me home again...but by the time I set sail from New York, I wished only to shut them out...trying to protect myself from what is still to come."" So writes Thelonia Jones, Evie Woolmore's perfectly realized Victorian heroine in her latest historical fiction offering with her signature magic realism tilt. Written in the pulsing rhythms of the sea that so infuse the story-- both the sea of the coastal village village of Lymington, England, and the hidden, musterious, underground sea that is the source of the salt of her brother's factory in the mountains of Colorado, The Salt Factory follows the journey of Thelonia as she valiantly tries to re-pay the debt her brother has incurred. Or is this the journey she is really on? That question strikes at the very heart of Woolmore's novel, keeping both Thelonia and the reader continually off-base as we ride the many sharp twists and steep turns. Thelonia is a fully formed Victorian heroine, perfect in her Englishness, but embodied with a fine American twist-- as well she should be as she is the first female US Deputy Marshall. Ms. Woolmore peoples her creation with vivid characters true to her genre: Mangus Blackstock, the cruel stepfather; Syrus Capshaw the sly villian who holds Thelonia's fate in his hands; and Cadell, the misunderstood half-brother. But pushing beyond these, it is the ethereal characters: Marial the Mermaid of Capshaw's Spectacular Freakshow whose skin has turned silver due to a childhood illness, and of course, the little girl, that give the novel its luminescence and sheen. Evocative, gorgeously written, this haunting tale of discovery will have you madly page turning until the wee hours.