Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky

Sweet Salt Air is a great book for a summer escape.  I was so excited about reading this book when I first picked it up, as the description reminded me of my summer in Maine when I was a child.  From the very first page I could smell the ocean, taste the lobster rolls and feel the breeze on my cheek.  So for me this was a great way to relive old memories.  The more I got into the book the more I wanted to go on vacation in Maine and meet everyone on Quinnipeague!  

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… 

This book was well paced.  I was able to stop reading and pick it up without missing a beat, but saying that I really didn’t want to put this book down. 

I loved the storyline of this book.  I wanted to know more about Quinnipeague and the people who live there.  When you first meet Nicole and Charlotte they are trying to reconnect with each other.  The first night they are together they can see how the other has changed after years apart.  But deep down they are still the same people that they were when they were growing up. 

I love how Barbara Delinsky uses a fictional novel to parallel the main story.  Both Nicole and Charlotte are reading the same book, but from totally different places in their lives.   

Nicole is so bottled up at the beginning of this story and has to be in control of everything.  She wants to control her reactions to everything and how others react to her.  She has blinders on and doesn’t really know how to react when her world is torn apart.  At first she is angry and very nasty to others, but finally in the end she comes to realize that she needs the help of her family and friends to have the life she wants. 

Charlotte on the other hand goes with the flow.  She doesn’t have roots and is not looking to settle down.  She finds that when she meets Leo she has to let go of all her preconceived notions of what having roots mean. She finds that to be happy she has to let go of her guilt over a betrayal that she committed 10 years before.  Once she lets that go she is able to fall in love and live the life she has always wanted. 

The characters in this book are so life like that you want to travel to Quinnipeague and meet them.  I love how each of the residents is protective of the other.  They don’t like outsiders and go to great lengths to protect Leo.  He is the town recluse and to those who don’t know him he is the resident “bad boy”.  He’s one of my favorite characters in this book.  When you first meet him he is repairing his “worn” down house.  On the street side of the house it is a dump, but as Charlotte gets to know Leo she realizes that he is like the inside and Ocean side of his home.  He puts up a tough exterior, but inside he is a warm and loving man who is just trying to get by.   

All of the characters in this book are a hoot.  I especially love the people that are contributing to Nicole’s cookbook.  In telling how they create food for others they talk about Maine and the people who live there. 

I love the writing style of Barbara Delinsky.  She paints a picture of not just her characters but of the places they are.  This book was one that I definitely fell into.  I couldn’t put it down and wanted to read more.  Even after finishing the book I was trying to picture in my mind what was going to happen next.  I sure hope there is a sequel!  I want to get to know these people more! 

BARBARA DELINSKY is a New York Times bestselling author with more than thirty million copies of her books in print. She has been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Delinsky earned a B.A. in psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in sociology at Boston College. Delinsky enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She lives in Needham, Massachusetts. 

I would definitely recommend this book.  If you want to be transported to an island off the coast of Maine and have a holiday without leaving home, this book is for you!  The story is so compelling and the characters feel like lifelong friends that you will want to read this story over and over! 

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Stephanie

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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