Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky
|Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: You want a compelling read in a gorgeous setting? You've found it - I thoroughly enjoyed it.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 480||Date: July 2013|
|External links: Author's website|
It's ten years since Charlotte and Nicole were close. Since then Nicole has married Julian, an eminent surgeon and Charlotte has made her way as a writer. She has a base in New York, but it's little bigger than a cupboard and is only a place to stay between foreign assignments. Nicole lives in Philadelphia but still spends her summers at her family's property off the coast of Maine. This year is going to be the last time though. Her father died suddenly and her mother can't bear to go back to Quinniepeague, so Nicole is returning to the island to clear the house for sale. And she's going to write a cookbook.
Nicole's become famous as a blogger about food and particularly the food on Quinniepeague. She's something of a novice though and as the book is to contain profiles of islanders and their recipes she asks Charlotte to spend two months with her at the house. She thinking of renewing their friendship, clearing the house, writing and generally having a relaxing summer. She's definitely not thinking about telling Charlotte about the secret which dominates her mind: after all she's promised that she won't tell anyone. She doesn't realise that Charlotte has a secret too. It goes back longer than Nicole's secret and it has the power to destroy and to save.
Great literature is all very well but sometimes what you want is a darned good story which is going to have you turning the pages because you have got to know what happens to people you've genuinely come to care about. I loved Charlotte, faults and all and I warmed to Nicole. She has a lot on her mind and I guess it's not surprising that she's more than a bit uptight at times. She's not responsible for Charlotte though and it really isn't up to her to steer her away from the island's bad boy, Leo Cole. The islanders are brilliant creations - you get them in any small community. They protect their own. Fiercely.
Quinniepeague is a character in its own right. It's luscious and herbs grow profusely, which is one of the reasons for Nicole's cookbook. The recipes make use of the fresh herbs and freshly picked the taste is phenomenal. I sank into the island, the story and the people and I was very reluctant to come up for air! I'll tell you just how good it is: when Charlotte and Nicole first meet they're amused to see that they're both reading the same book. I checked on Bookbag to see if we'd reviewed it...
Go on - if you want a good story, you'll enjoy this one.
Delinsky has Jodi Picoult's knack of taking an issue and running with it. I'm not going to tell you - it would spoil something for you if I did - but I came away with some clear knowledge about a particular illness and its treatments. It was done without my feeling that I was being lectured or that I'd had a lot of information dumped on me. That's skill. If you'd like to read another book about Maine I can recommend Maine by Courtney Sullivan.
You can read more book reviews or buy Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky at Amazon.com.
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