Hold on to your sun hats. This heartbreaking tale of two women who drifted apart in adulthood after being best friends as girls, the men in their lives, and the near tragedy of Multiple Sclerosis is a must read. If you prefer a little substance in your romance novels instead of fluff, you will love Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky. Sweet Salt Air is my neighborhood book club selection for June, 2017. Yep, I read it early, and it very well may be my favorite of this year’s selections.
Delinsky takes her readers on a life-like tour of Qinnipeague Island, Maine. Her character development and captivating descriptions of coastal Maine and its lifestyle caused me to put a visit to Quinnipeague on my bucket list. Alas, I quickly learned Quinnipeague is a fictional place, but one whose residents seem to step off the page.
Charlotte is a globe-trotting journalist and photographer. Leo is a heartbroken recluse with an enviable encyclopedic knowledge of herbs. Nicole is a foodie blogger with a contract to write a cookbook highlighting her own and local residents’ recipes using herbs from Leo’s garden. Julian is a world-famous physician who has kept his Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis secret. Each has his or her own secrets that will affect the others.
Through the conversations and tensions of family dynamics, but without sounding preachy, Delinsky reminds her readers to be proactive about their heath when Nicole’s mom angrily states that her deceased husband, Bob, might still be alive “…if he had been more proactive about his family history of heart problems…” She also gives the reader, information about MS, such as the fact that “…there’s so much they don’t know…like why women get it more than men…” and “…why there is more MS in the northern U.S. than down south..”
No stone is left unturned: Delinsky reminds her readers to shoot for the stars by having characters remember Bob’s words, “Aim high, hit high,,,” implying that those who aim low, will hit low. Through Nicole’s cookbook, readers are gently encouraged to be ecologically responsible by eating locally grown foods, and locally caught fish. In every respect, this enchanting tale entertains, yet manages to make us want to be better stewards of life and our world. This is one of those few books that I will likely read more than once. I highly recommend adding it to your library.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy
Beginning a sentence with a conjunction such as “but” or “and”;
The all too frequent (these days) split infinitive.
Improper word usage:
Using “bring” or “brought” when the words used should be “take” or “took”;
Using “was” when the correct word is “were”;
Referring to the fenders on Leo’s boat as “bumpers”.