Friday, June 21, 2013

REVIEW: Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Title:                       Sweet Salt Air
Author:                   Barbara Delinsky
Release Date:      June 18/2013
Genre:                Women's Fiction/Romance
Publisher:           St. Martin's Press
Page Count:        416
Acquired:            ARC from Wunderkind for review
Format:              Print ARC
Read On:             June 10-13/2013
Goodreads:         ADD
Purchase:           Amazon/Indigo/Book Depository

On Quinnipeague, hearts open under the summer stars and secrets float in the Sweet Salt Air...

Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.

But what both women don't know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.

Bestselling author and master storyteller Barbara Delinsky invites you come away to Quinnipeague…


Before Sweet Salt Air, I was a Barbara Delinsky virgin. I tend to walk straight past the romance section while book shopping, and would have never picked this book up on my own. Now with that admission out of the way, HELLO Ms. Delinsky, thank you for making your debut into my reading life: Sweet Salt Air was delightful, and filled with aromatically descriptive scenes, and followed a plot line that was brave, to say the least.

After years of having a stilted friendship, made more distant by secrets, Charlotte and Nicole reunite on the comforting island of Quinnipeague, just off the coast of Maine. With high hopes to rekindle the sisterly bond they once shared, the two join forces, and professional abilities, to create a cookbook based on the organic recipes of the residents. The reuniting moment is genuine, and filled with the exact right amount of emotion. I was instantly drawn to the more secluded, and distant, Charlotte. Barbara Delinsky goes on to describe the sights, sounds, and smells of Quinnipeague, in a way that thrusts into your heart, and warms you to your core. It takes some serious writing skill to allow me to completely block out the sound of city noise outside of my window, and become wholly enveloped by not only the sound of sea breeze, but the actual feel of it. Sweet Salt Air produced that magic, those words of descriptive magic, that clung to your skin, and pulled you into the very place your characters were living and breathing in.

I was completely thrown by the plot line of this book. Where I expected corny and over-the-top romance, I was given something real, and solid, and full of substance. The secrets that eventually leaked into the open were the biggest shockers. It was a seriously gusty twist, and I found myself enraged with the admission of it. HOW does one move on from that? How are wrongs forgiven, and eventually, forgotten? Why was it okay to forgive one side, but let your anger linger on the other? I was satisfied, for the most part, with how the author tied up her ends, but I felt like some aspects were a little unrealistic, in terms of reactions, and eventually, the conclusion: a little too perfect. I wanted a little more hate, a little more refusal to accept the truth.

Overall, this book was a journey for the senses. It's summer over here in Toronto, but when I was on Quinnipeague, it was summer in the best way. All humid nights, and delicious smelling mornings in the breeze. I would have gladly vacationed on that island. If you're already a Delinsky fan, you're in for another treat, and if you're a newcomer, like I was, I think you will be pleasantly content with the comfort and intrigue you find in the pages of Sweet Salt Air.

Recommended for fans of: Women's Fiction, Romance, Contemporary


Barbara has quite the extensive bio, please click here to find out more about her!

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Thank-you to Staci from Wunderkind PR for sending me an ARC copy of the book to review!

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