Monday, September 23, 2013

Julie's Review: Sweet Salt Air

Summary:From New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky; a woman has a secret that may save the life of her best friend's husband;or destroy him. Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's family's island house, 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 in order 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 a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees. But what both women don't know is that they are each holding a secret that may change their relationship forever. Are the bonds of friendship strong enough to weather past indiscretions and betrayals? Can love survive an honest mistake? Filled with real, gut-wrenching emotion as well as a strong romantic storyline, Sweet Salt Air is a new offering from a beloved storyteller guaranteed to make you laugh and cry.

Review: What I truly liked about Sweet Salt Air was the research that Ms. Delinsky conducted about MS. It was obvious that either she had a vested interest in the research or she was interested in the disease. I also enjoyed the relationship between Nicole and Charlotte. I will be honest, even though I felt like the author wanted you to like and sympathize with Nicole more, I found myself leaning towards Charlotte. Nicole suffers from the "Kelly Taylor Syndrome" (she's a nice girl, you are supposed to like her but you don't and all the bad stuff happens to her)*. Charlotte led the more interesting life, she made herself and her career. Charlotte always had help and lived a privileged life. She went from her parents' cushy life to the life of a surgeon. She was indulged and never knew hard times until her husband was diagnosed with MS four years prior.

Food is prominent in the story but there are no real recipes in the end. So true foodies will be a bit let down. Charlotte comes back to Quinnie to help Nicole with her cookbook about the recipes and herbs that are essential to life on the island. This is the first time in 10 years that the two life long friends have been together. There are devastating secrets and the hope for forgiveness. There is also a life changing love affair that happens with the least likely candidate.

There were many a time when I rolled my eyes during this book. Charlotte and Leo were probably the most complex characters. There was depth and history to them. Nicole was the conduit the had them meet. Now, don't get me wrong I feel horrible for Nicole and her husband Julian. I can only imagine what a diagnosis like that has on someone. Julian is prideful and a bit of an asshole. He puts his feelings and determination ahead of his wife's. He makes her feel like she doesn't matter. He's so focused on how this diagnosis affects him that he doesn't realize how it affects the people around him.

I will say that I have a hankering for Lobster rolls, Clam Chowder and all other kinds of fresh seafood. I will also one day make it to Maine to have Lobster that fresh.

If you are looking for a solid read with some depth, then pick up Sweet Salt Air.

Final Take: 3.75/5

*Thank you, Alice for this term!!

 Thank you to Staci Burt at Wunderkind PR for my copy of the novel.



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