The Salt Letters:

“A Mesmerizing novel which brings to life a nearly forgotten bit of history with an immediacy that is both harrowing and poetic.”

           Lauren Belfer, author of City of Light


“An astonishing debut from a writer who appears born to the rhythms of prose, moving through painstaking research to the poetry of water, the grittiness of salt.”

          Emma Tennant, author of Sylvia and Ted.


 “Her treatment of history is remarkable for its fresh and sensuous embellishment of what such sources could suggest…. Her economy is sometimes redolent of Emily Dickinson.”

          Stella Clarke, in the West Australian


 “Each painstakingly researched detail is so beautifully rendered that even the most unpleasant situations become lyrical… Upon finishing it, you can’t help feeling…as if you yourself had just emerged from the confined world she captures so well.”

          Nora Krug, the New York Times  


Ophelia’s Fan

   “Christine Balint, with remarkable ingenuity and imaginative sympathy, has reconstructed the life of the Irish actress who became an icon of the Romantic movement in France. In doing so she has rescued Harriet Smithson from the passive role of victim commonly thrust upon her in biographies of Berlioz and endowed her with a voice of her own and a credible personality – sensitive, vulnerable but gifted, courageous and spirited – so that we live her strange, eventful history as relived by her and believe that that was how it was.”

          David Cairns, Author of Berlioz


“The narrative is complex… [y]et Balint carries the reader along effortlessly and creates a portrait of Smithson and her world that is always engaging and convincing.”

     Carolyn Tetáz, Australian Book Review


 “Original and daring, telling the story of Berlioz’s muse with passion, sensitivity and grace. Enchanting.”

          Helen Humphreys, author


“A portrait of Harriet as a sublimely interesting character caught up in the throes of her own personal drama… [Balint] reconstructs the vibrantly intoxicating atmosphere of the theatrical world… Lavishly romantic.”




© Christine Balint, 2018