Thursday, 1 August 2013

Books Read: Barbara Delinsky - Sweet Salt Air

Can the bonds of friendship weather a betrayal?

Charlotte and Nicole were once best friends, spending long, idyllic summers together in Nicole's family home on the island of Quinnipeague, but they have since grown apart.

After ten years, their writing careers brings them back together - to write a cookbook about island food in their childhood haven. 

When both women reunite, it becomes clear that they are both guarding secrets of the years spent apart. But when Charlotte learns that her secret is the key to saving Nicole's husband's life, she must face her painful past and risk the consequences that honesty might bring ...

Barbara Delinsky is another one of the American authors that I was introduced to when I was on holiday in the US a few years ago after picking up a copy of her latest book in the supermarket.  Since then I've read quite a few of her books, but certainly not all of them. so when I saw that she had a new book, Sweet Salt Air, being published by Canvas I knew it was one that I wanted to read and fortunately I received a copy to review.

It's been ten years since Nicole and Charlotte have been together on Quinnipeague, an island off Maine, for Nicole's wedding to Julian which is strange since they were practically inseparable when they were younger.  So what exactly happened to cause Charlotte to flee the island never to return?    

Charlotte is now a freelance writer which sees her jetting all over the world for work and although she has an apartment in New York she's never really there long enough to make it feel like home.   Meanwhile on paper it looks like Nicole has the perfect life, wife of eminent surgeon with no need to go out to work, but if it wasn't for her successful food blog she'd probably go a little crazy.

When Nicole is offered a book deal to write a cookbook based on local recipes from the island she decides to contact Charlotte to come and help her with interviews to include alongside the recipes.  Charlotte agrees and shortly afterwards arrives back on the island.

Soon both women are immersed in the book and hope that working alongside each other will give them the chance to recapture the bond that they once had, and Nicole hopes for the support she needs at this time.   

But it's clear from the start that there are many secrets being kept and slowly over time they are revealed but at what cost to their friendship... 

Both Nicole and Charlotte were likeable characters which surprised me, I was expecting to like one more than the other but this was not the case at all.  The islanders also made for some interesting characters but my favourite would definitely have to be reclusive Leo.  Where can I meet my Leo?

I loved the sound of the island of Quinnipeague and its protective residents who are determined to keep their privacy, I could quite easily move to somewhere as remote as this so long as I had plenty of books and internet access. 

Sweet Salt Air is a story about deep buried secrets but it's so much more than that, it's about love, forgiveness but overall a sense of belonging.  

I'd like to thank Lucy at Constable & Robinson for sending me a copy of this book to review.  
Amazon links: Paperback or Kindle

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