I’m pleased to have my favourite guest reviewer (my Mum!) back with me today with her review of Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky.
From the moment lead character Charlotte boarded the ferry I was there on my way to Quinnipeague, the small (fictional) island off Maine that was Charlotte’s childhood haunt, experiencing the sweet salt air. I’ve lived by the sea for much of my life and the descriptions of scenery throughout the book are wonderfully written from the colours describing the sea – turquoise, emerald, teal and grey blue, to the clouds – “etching their edges in silver”.
Charlotte is a freelance writer in her mid thirties and on her way to a reunion with her childhood friend Nicole whose family had become her own. Nicole has invited Charlotte to help her in writing a cook book. Charlotte’s task is to interview the islanders and capture not only their exclusive recipes, but their colourful personalities which all add to the charm of Quinnipeague.
Like the sea that surrounds the island, the story ebbs and flows, whilst the characters deal with the storms and the peace of life on Quinnipeague. As Charlotte investigates the island and it’s landmarks she finds herself in the gardens of the secluded Cole residence. Charlotte stumbles across the late Cecily Cole’s reclusive son and his fearful dog Bear. I enjoyed the almost bewitched air that Delinsky gave to the Cole house and the outcome of this new relationship is in itself magical!
There are many ups and downs to the story as Charlotte stumbles upon the reason behind Nicole’s secretiveness. The reader has cleverly been drawn into the scenario to the point where it feels it is as personal to them as it is to Charlotte and her relationship with Nicole is heart-wrenching. Barbara Delinsky works very cleverly with the reader, to the point where the story and situation are so real, it could be any one of us in that situation and the novel felt well researched when addressing the areas of illness and development of treatments.
Sweet Salt Air is an embracing and emotional but also wonderfully encouraging. I am now sourcing more of Barbara’s books as she is certainly in the ranks of my favourite authors.
As you can see, Mum loved this one and I’ve been hearing a lot about it as she has been reading it – so much so that I’ve asked her to pass it back to me now so I can read it myself! It sounds wonderful
Sweet Salt Air is out now in paperback and ebook formats.
You can find out more about Barbara Delinsky and her novels at: http://barbaradelinsky.com/
We’d like to thank publisher Canvas for sending us a review copy of this book.