Book review: Salt in My Soul

Mallory Smith inspired many people through her passionate advocacy for those living with cystic fibrosis. Salt in My Soul reveals another facet of her story: her own internal struggles with her illness. Mallory grew up in Los Angeles (but had connections to the Silicon Valley as an alumna of Stanford University, and through cousins who attended Castilleja) and was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at the age of three. Salt in My Soul is a collection of over ten years of diary entries written by Mallory up until her untimely passing at age 25. She left instructions for her mother to publish her diaries after her death so that others could have an intimate view of her internal thoughts. Some themes that recur throughout her memoir are body image, access to healthcare, depression and anxiety, and pain medication management. What is perhaps most impactful about Mallory’s story, however, is that she never let her illness define her, despite knowing that it would lead to an early death. Her writing is eloquent and captivating, making her book personal and powerful to readers. Salt in My Soul was recently listed as a top book for millenials (in good company with memoirs by Joan Didion and Toni Morrison), and selected as a featured book for college students by Penguin Random House. Check it out at Casti Library.

-Lishan C. ’21

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