Hold on to your sun hats. This heartwarming tale of two women who were best friends as girls, but drifted apart in adulthood, the men in their lives, and the near tragedy of Multiple Sclerosis is a must read. If you prefer a little substance with your romance novels instead of empty fluff, you will love Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky. Sweet Salt Air is my neighborhood book club selection for June, 2017, and it may well be my favorite of this year’s selections.
Charlotte is a world-traveling journalist and photographer. Leo is a heartbroken recluse with an enviable 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.
Delinsky takes her readers on a life-like tour of Qinnipeague Island, Maine. Her character development and captivating descriptions of coastal Main and the local lifestyle caused this reader to put a visit to Quinnipeague on her bucket list but, alas, Quinnipeague is a fictional place.
Without sounding preachy, Delinsky gave the reader, through the conversations and tension of family dynamics, information about MS, such as the fact that “…there is more MS in the northern U.S. than down south..” and that “…women get it more than men…” She also reminded 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…”
No stone is left unturned: Delinsky also 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. Readers are also encouraged to be ecologically responsible by eating locally grown foods, and locally caught fish.
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”;
Calling the fenders on Leo’s boat “bumpers”.