"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Linger in the "Sweet Salt Air" by Barbara Delinsky

Sweet Salt Air
Author:  Barbara Delinsky
Published:  June 2013
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Pages:  416
Edition:  ARC (advanced reader's copy)
ISBN 9781250007032

Author's website:  http://barbaradelinsky.com/

Source:  Thank you to St. Martin's Press for an advanced reader's copy.  Receipt thereof in no manner influenced my opinion nor this review.

Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in the Maine island house owned by Nicole’s family, but they have since grown apart. A successful travel writer, Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, lives in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian.

When Nicole returns to the island house to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte for both sentimental and practical reasons. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole would like her help interviewing locals for her book. Missing genuine connections in her life, Charlotte agrees.

Reuniting that June on Quinnipeague, they feel the same excitement they always did.  But ten years have changed them.  There are secrets, born of betrayal and fear, that could destroy their friendship for good.  And they aren’t alone on the island.  There are locals wary of betraying confidences, ill-timed visits from Nicole’s mother and step-daughter, and more food than any woman who loves island food could ever ask for.  Through it all, Nicole struggles to save her marriage, while Charlotte is drawn, night after night, to the far end of the island, where the herbs for which island food is renowned scent the ocean air.  Equal parts gourmet, homeopathic, and mystical, these herbs, so crucial to Nicole’s cookbook, are being safeguarded by a dangerous man and his dog.

As the days pass and secrets fall, the two women survive test after test.  But with the last one, a health crisis for Nicole’s husband, Charlotte has to decide whether to reveal a final secret that could either save his life – or destroy him.

My thoughts:

Prepare to curl up and linger with a book that will engage all your senses.  You will practically smell and taste this beautifully touching story as you linger over the imagery and imagine the flavour of the ingredients, both literal and figurative.  Your senses will come alive.  Not only this, but your emotions will wreak havoc with your make up.  Just a fair warning.

I've never before read Barbara Delinsky and now I know what I was missing.  This novel spoke to me on so many levels with so many ingredients to which I could relate.  Reading, writing, gardening, a beautiful island and food!  And love interests!  Something for everyone!

imagine an island 

Nicole and Charlotte are childhood best friends who've been apart for the last 10 years, one married and the other pursuing her career.  As Nicole embarks on a new writing endeavour, she enlists her estranged friend Charlotte (a successful journalist) to help her.  

Nicole has wondered in passing why they seemed to have drifted so far apart over the last ten years but when she places the call to invite Charlotte to help her create a cookbook - a combination of recipes and personal interest stories about the residents of the island who are known for their incredible dishes and the local ingredients used in the recipes complete with resplendent vignettes featuring the dish - it's as if time was non-existent and their friendship is as it was before.  Neither knows the secrets of the other but when one reveals hers, it leads to a tumultuous sequence of events that their friendship may not survive.

I loved Sweet Salt Air!  I smiled, I imagined; every sense heightened as I explored this novel...  and I cried.  Simply, this is a summer release that I recommend for any time of the year. It will captivate you.

Meet the Author:
Barbara Delinsky has written twenty one NY Times bestselling novels with over thirty million copies in print. Her books are highly emotional, character-driven studies of marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, and friendship. Barbara’s newest novel, SWEET SALT AIR, was a June 18, 2013 St. Martin's Press release. 

Her first foray into non-fiction occurred in October 2001 with the publication of UPLIFT: SECRETS FROM THE SISTERHOOD OF BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS. UPLIFT is a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes that she compiled with the help of 350 breast cancer survivors, their families and friends. A breast cancer survivor herself, Barbara has donated the entirety of her author proceeds from three editions of UPLIFT to fund the first six years of a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital that will train a surgical oncologist in research. A new Tenth Anniversary Edition of UPLIFT went on sale September 27, 2011.

Barbara lives with her family in New England.

Her published works include:  

Sweet Salt Air (2013)
Escape (2011)
Not My Daughter (2010)
While My Sister Sleeps (2009)
The Secret Between Us (2008)
Family Tree (2007)
Looking for Peyton Place (2005)
The Summer I Dared (2004)
Flirting with Pete (2003)
An Accidental Woman (2002)
The Woman Next Door (2001)
The Vineyard (2000)
Lake News (1999)
Coast Road (1998)
Three Wishes (1997)
UPLIFT: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors (2011)


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