The Price of Salt – Patricia Highsmith (1952)

I also reviewed ‘Carol’, the movie which is based on this book…to access it just click here!


I was very excited to read this book, and I must say, I was not disappointed.

Therese is a budding set-designer, trying desperately to make her break in the field. She works as a salesgirl in a toy shop for the Christmas period, and even though she has just started her job she hates it. She is dating Richard, who is terribly in love with her. But she shows no interest in marrying him, or even breaking up with him. You could say she’s a very passive character…in the beginning.


At the toy store she meets the blonde Carol Aird, a mysterious woman who instantly grabs our protagonist’s attention. We do not learn much about Carol in the book but this only serves to increase her desirability.


The novel itself focuses on Therese’s point of view, which is very interesting to see her sheer obsession with Carol develop – which in turn pushes towards her own emotional maturity. Ms. Highsmith had even declared that Therese is based on herself, so any fans of this author should definitely find this novel of interest.


This book is a story of love, of obsession, of non-verbalised desire. Something most can understand through experience. It’s not surprising, then, that this novel quickly became a cult classic following it’s publication in 1952.