Title: Sweet Salt Air
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Rating: 5 Stars
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.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I wish I had read this book sooner. I received a copy of Barbara Delinsky’s Sweet Salt Air from a giveaway nearly a year ago, and never having read the author, and not particularly taken in by the cover (which, by the way is gorgeous… just not the usual bodice-ripper cover I’m used to seeing on a romance themed novel), I set the book aside and didn’t take a second glance. I’m kind of face palming about it now.
I almost cannot put into words how deliciously well written this book was. The writing was clear, fluid, and easy to follow. I felt engaged right off the bat, and before I knew it, I was more than halfway through the book before I happened to look up from the narrative. There were a few typos involved, but let me make it clear that my copy of Sweet Salt Air was an ARC, and chances are that the typos (which were few and far between) were probably cleaned up for the final version.
Though this was indeed a romance, I think the main theme of this story was friendship. Charlotte and Nicole, though having spent more than a decade apart, were true friends in every sense of the words. They made mistakes—big mistakes—but in the end it didn’t matter. through betrayal, distance, time, and the stress of their lives, they continued to try and make peace with one another, and in the end I think their bond was stronger than ever. Their relationship was the type of relationship I think we all secretly want: forgiving, strong, and thankful. I loved every minute of the dynamics between the two friends.
Ms. Delinsky has a magical way of bringing her characters to life that is hard to come by in this day and age. Each voice was unique, and I fell in love with each character (though Leo was by far my favorite). They felt like real people to me, leading real lives, and combined with the rich setting of the island and small town atmosphere, I felt like I was in Quinnipeague along side them.
I absolutely refuse to spoil this book for anyone, so let me end it with this: Would I read this book again? Hell yes. Would I recommend it? No question. I think anyone who loves a richly spun drama full of romance, betrayal and small town charm will love Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky. I highly recommend you give it a read.