Sweet Salt Air

( 82 )

Overview

On this island, hearts open under the summer stars and secrets float in the sweet salt air….


Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her ...

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Overview

On this island, hearts open under the summer stars and secrets float in the sweet salt air….


Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.

"If the title alone doesn't put you in a summer mood, the setting will." --Boston magazine

But what both women don't know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage--but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole's friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.

"Delinsky captures the magic of coastal Maine in this beautifully written book about friendship and redemption… a fantastic summer read!" --RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Barbara Delinsky:
New York Journal of Books

With grace and dignity Sweet Salt Air reveals the fragility of human nature while intimating at the healing powers of forgiveness.
"Top Pick" RT Book Reviews

Delinsky captures the magic of coastal Maine in this beautifully written book about friendship and redemption. The characters are engaging and their various plights believable. The drama of betrayal, the tension of risk and the triumph of friendship play out in a setting that is a character in itself. [Sweet Salt Air is] a fantastic summer read!
Bookreporter.com on Escape

"A writer who continues to earn her bestseller status."
RT Book Reviews on The Summer I Dared

"Delinsky never fails to entertain."
Kirkus Reviews
Two old friends, troubled by present crises and past mistakes, reunite on an island off the coast of Maine. It's been 10 years since Nicole, a food blogger, has seen her best friend, Charlotte. The separation is due in part to the women's divergent life paths. Nicole married Julian, a prominent pediatric surgeon and sought-after consultant, and is stepmother to his two children. Charlotte travels the world on magazine assignments. Now, Nicole is at her parents' summer home on Quinnipeague Island, publishing contract in hand, preparing to write a cookbook on local cuisine. She is also there to ready the place to sell after her father's sudden passing. When Nicole summons Charlotte to Quinnipeague to help with the book, Charlotte has reservations due to a secret she has harbored for years: Shortly before Nicole's wedding, she had a drunken one-night stand with Julian. A pregnancy resulted; the child was given up for adoption. Sharing the seaside house while Julian is away, Charlotte and Nicole bond once more over the challenges of wresting recipes from the crusty islanders and over best-selling beach read Salt. When told that Leo, son of a reputed witch, refuses to divulge the magical lore of his mother's herb farm, Charlotte, who cannot resist an unwilling interview subject, seeks him out. At first blush an eccentric recluse, Leo proves to be not only a dead ringer for Salt's romantic hero, but also its pseudonymous author, which explains that new sailboat and those expensive renovations to his weather-beaten house. Charlotte is distracted from their blossoming romance by a moral dilemma: Julian, Nicole reveals, has MS and wants to try an experimental and dangerous stem cell treatment protocol. Nicole is opposed to the risky procedure, but when Charlotte reveals how and why she has access to just the genetically compatible umbilical stem cells Julian might need, the friendship is threatened. The result: promising complications, rendered less than compelling by plodding, talky narration. Despite some appetizing menu items, pretty standard fare.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594667711
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky is a New York Times bestselling author with more than thirty million copies of her books in print. She has been published in twenty-eight languages worldwide. A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She lives in Massachusetts.

Biography

Born Ruth Greenberg, and raised in suburban Boston, Barbara Delinsky worked as a sociology researcher in children's services and was a newspaper photographer and reporter before turning to fiction writing full-time. In point of fact, she never intended to pursue a literary career. But, in the early 1980s, a newspaper article profiling three women who successfully balanced home, family, and romance writing caught her attention. Intrigued, she spent months researching and writing her first novel. It sold -- and Delinsky was off and running.

Praised by critics and fans alike for her character driven studies of marriage, parenthood, and friendship, Delinsky is one of a small cadre of successful women writers (including Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown) who started out writing pseudonymous paperbacks for the category romance genre and muscled their way onto the bestseller lists with hardcover escapist fiction. Yet she is candid about the hard work involved and insists there's no tried-and-true formula that converts automatically to easy money. As if to prove her own point, Delinsky works from eight in the morning to about seven at night, writing in the office above the garage in her Newton, Massachusetts home; doing research; handling interviews; or -- her least favorite part of the job -- touring the country making author appearances.

Over the decades Delinsky has written dozens of novels that have landed on The New York Times bestseller list, including Twilight Whispers (1988), For My Daughters (1994), Three Wishes (1997), Flirting with Pete (2003), and Family Tree (2007). In 2001, she published her first nonfiction title, Uplift: Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors. A cancer survivor herself, she has earmarked all the profits from the sale of this book to benefit breast cancer research.

Good To Know

When she isn't writing, one of Delinsky's favorite pastimes is kayaking.

She gets some of her best ideas in the shower. "It's a little harder to write ideas down there," she wrote to fans on her web site, "but I've been known to yell something out to my husband, who does it for me!"

The family cat, Chelsea, is named after her 1992 novel The Passions of Chelsea Kane.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Billie Douglass, Bonnie Drake; born Ruth Greenberg
    2. Hometown:
      Newton, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University, 1967; M.A. in Sociology, Boston College, 1969

Read an Excerpt

Sweet Salt Air


By Barbara Delinsky

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 Barbara Delinsky
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781250007032

Excerpt from SWEET SALT AIR

Barbara Delinsky

Prologue

Charlotte Evans was used to feeling grungy. As a freelancer, she traveled on a shoestring, getting stories other writers did not, precisely because she wasn’t fussy about how she lived. In the last twelve months, she had survived dust while writing about elephant keepers in Kenya, ice while writing about the spirit bear of British Columbia, and flies while writing about a family of nomads in India.

She could certainly survive a mizzling, as the Irish called it, though the heavy mist seeped through everything— jeans, boots, even the thick fisherman’s sweater she wore. The sweater was on loan from the woman under whose roof she was sleeping on this least populated of the three Aran Islands, and though Charlotte did have a fireplace in her bedroom, hot water was in short supply in the small stone cottage. She could have used a steamy shower, a thorough washing of her clothes, and a solid day of sun.

Her assignment was to write about the youngest generation of Inishmaan knitters, women who were adapting traditional patterns in breathtaking ways, and as with the pattern on her own sweater, she could now describe moss stitch, panel repeats, right and left twists, and cable designs. It was time to leave. She had to go home to put the story together and get it to Vogue Knitting, before heading to the Australian outback to do a piece on aborigine jewelry- making for National Geographic, a coup that one. Still, she stayed here.

Part of what kept her was the woman who owned the house, as warm and motherly as any she had ever met; part was the craft that permeated the place. No knitter herself, she could watch these women for hours. They were at peace with themselves and their world, enviable for Charlotte, who had no roots at all. So close to her age that they might have been schoolmates, they were trying to teach her to knit. She told herself this was cause enough to stay.

Bottom line, though, it was the island that kept her here. She had loved islands from the time she spent her first summer on one. She was eight at the time. Thirty- four now, she still felt the island aura— an isolation that made worries seem distant, a separation from the real world that lent itself to dreams.

Her eyes went to the horizon, or where the horizon would have been if the mist weren’t so dense. Thick o’ fog they called it in that other place, and it lent a sheen to her skin and a bulk to her hair here as it did there. She pulled those dark curls back now, fingers lost in the damp mass, and turned just enough on the scruff y cliff to face a few latitudinal degrees south.

There, on the far side of the Atlantic, would be Maine, but despite the shared ocean, her island and this one were worlds apart. Where Inishmaan was gray and brown, its fragile man- made soil supporting only the hardiest of low- growing plants, the fertile Quinnipeague invited tall pines in droves, not to mention vegetables, flowers, and improbable, irrepressible herbs. Lifting her head, eyes closed now, she breathed in the damp Irish air and the bit of wood smoke that drifted on the cold ocean wind. Quinnipeague smelled of wood smoke, too, since early mornings there could be chilly, even in summer. But the wood smoke would clear by noon, giving way to the smell of lavender, balsam, and grass. If the winds were from the west, there would be fry smells from the Chowder House; if from the south, the earthiness of the clam flats; if from the northeast, the purity of sweet salt air. Oh yes, across the Atlantic would be Maine, she mused as she opened her eyes and tried to penetrate that great distance through the fog, and this being April, she would think if it regardless of where she was. That was ingrained. Spring was when she started to plan her Quinnipeague summer.

Or used to. But no more. She had burned that bridge ten years ago with one stupid act. She couldn’t go back, though she wished it sometimes. She missed the spirit of summer on Quinnipeague, so much more intense for being apart from the rest of the world. She missed Quinnie lobster rolls, which tasted better than lobster rolls anywhere else. Mostly, she missed Nicole, who had been as close as a sister to her once. She had never found another like her, though Lord knew she had searched. Perhaps that was what staying on Inishmaan was about. The women here could be friends. They understood independence and self- sufficiency. Charlotte had felt such instant rapport with several that she sensed they would keep in touch.

Would? Maybe.

More likely not, the realist in Charlotte admitted. For all the writing she did for a living, she was a lousy correspondent. Within a day or two, she would leave Inishmaan behind and return to Brooklyn, and from there? In addition to Australia, she had go-aheads to do stories in Tuscany and Bordeaux, the appeal of the latter being the lure of Paris before and after. She had friends there— a writer, a ceramist, and a would- be fashion designer whose clothes were too bizarre for mass appeal but whose personal warmth was winning.

Would it be the same as Quinnipeague time? No.

But this was the life she had made.

Nicole Carlysle lived in blissful ignorance of the past. She had enough to handle in the present, though no one knew it, and that was the problem. No one knew. No one could know, which meant no outlet, no emotional support, no badly needed advice. Julian was adamant about silence, and, because she loved him, she gave in. She was his lifeline, he said, and what woman didn’t want to hear that? But the strain was awful. She would have gone out of her mind if it hadn’t been for the blog.

Whether she was writing to tell her followers about a local cheesemaker, a new farm- to- table restaurant, or what to do with an exotic heirloom fruit that was organically produced and newly marketed, she spent hours each day scouring Philadelphia and the outlying towns for material. As spring took hold, the local offerings were growing.

On a different mission now, though, she sat in front of an iMac in Julian’s study. There was no view of the Schuylkill from this room, as there was from most of their eighteenth-floor condo. There were no windows here at all, simply walls of mahogany shelves that held medical books Julian had either inherited from his father or collected before publications had gone digital. Nicole owned shelves here, too, though fewer in number. Hers were filled with the novels she couldn’t part with, and books about entertaining that were both resource and inspiration.

Organized as she was, the papers to the left of the computer— jottings, printouts of fan comments and endorsement requests from vendors— were neatly arranged. Her camera sat behind them, hooked to a USB port, and, in a ceramic bowl on the computer’s right, lay the newly photographed subject of her upcoming blog: a head of purple cauliflower, still cupped by the veined green leaves within which it had grown. A leather sofa, with a matching side chair and ottoman, filled the room with the smell of lemon oil and age.

But that smell wasn’t foremost in her mind as she read what she had already typed. "I go to farmers’ markets all the time. Field-to-table is so my thing. But none of the herbs at any of them comes close to island herbs. Those herbs make Quinnie food— well, those herbs and freshness. Quinnipeague was growing organic and cooking local before farm-to-table was a movement, but, still, we think of the herbs first. I can’t write about island cooking without talking about them, but I can’t not talk about the people, either. That’s where you come in, Charlotte. You’ve eaten Dorey Jewett’s lobster stew and Mary Landry’s clam fritters, and you always loved the fruit compote that Bonnie Stroud brought to the Fourth of July dinner each year. These people are all still around. Each has a story. I want to include some in the book, but I’m better at writing about food than people. You write about people. And you’re so good at it, Charlotte. I google you all the time. Your name shows up in the best of the best travel magazines."

She paused, thinking about those pieces as she studied the mirror of her own eyes in the gloss of the screen. Just then, they were sea- green with worry, wondering what the chances were that her friend would accept. Charlotte was big- time professional, certainly used to having her own byline. She would have to split the billing here, and Nicole’s advance wasn’t all that much. If the book sold well, there would be more, but for now all she could offer was a small stipend, plus room and board in one of the nicest homes on the island— plus reading and talking and hanging out, all that they used to do before life got in the way.

She typed in the thoughts, rewording once, then again. Finally, tired of parsing, she added a blunt, "I need you, Charlotte. A Quinnie cookbook won’t be the same without your input. I know you’re busy, but my deadline is the fifteenth of August, so it’s not the entire summer, and you’ll get stories of your own out of this. It’ll be worth your while. I promise."

Her eyes rose above the computer screen to find Julian in the open doorway, and she felt a visceral flicker of warmth. It was like that whenever he caught her unaware— had been since the first time she’d laid eyes on him in a Starbucks in Baltimore twelve years before. Back then, as a new environmental studies graduate of Middlebury, she was getting her feet wet writing publicity pieces for a state agriculture organization. Hoping to work during her afternoon break, she had set down her grande-caramel-frappucicno-with-whip on a table without noticing much of her surroundings, until she opened her laptop and became aware of an identical one, identically opened and angled on the table beside hers. Having made the same observation seconds before, Julian had an amused smile waiting.

He was a surgeon, in town from Philadelphia for a seminar at Johns Hopkins, and he had a quiet strength. That strength had been sorely tested in the last four years and yet, seeing him in the doorway of the study, she still felt the pull. He wasn’t a tall man, but his bearing had always been regal. It was no less so now, though regular workouts helped with that. His hair had grayed in the last year or two, but even after a full day at the hospital, he was a good- looking forty- six. Tired, always tired now. But good-looking.

Wearing a smile, he approached. "Doing a write- up of last night?" he asked. They had eaten at a new restaurant with friends, a working night out for Nicole, who had insisted that everyone order different dishes and evaluate each while she took notes.

By the time she shook her head no, he was facing her with a hip on the desk by the keyboard. "The cookbook, then," he said as his smile grew knowing. "You always get that look when you think of Quinnipeague."

"Peaceful?" she acknowledged. "It’s April. Two more months, and we’re there. You’re still coming with me, aren’t you?"

"I told you I would."

"Willingly? It’s an escape, Jules," she urged, momentarily serious.

"It may be only for a week, but we need this." She recaptured lighter thoughts. "Remember the first time you ever came? Tell the truth. You were dreading it."

His brown eyes laughed warmly. "What wasn’t to dread? A godforsaken island in the middle of the Atlantic—"

"It’s only eleven miles out."

"Same difference. If it didn’t have a hospital, it wasn’t on my radar screen."

"You thought there’d be dirt roads and nothing to do."

He gave a wry chuckle. Between lobstering, clamming, and sailing, then movie nights at the church and mornings at the café, not to mention dinners at home, in town, or at the homes of friends, Nicole had kept him busy.

"You loved it," she dared.

"I did," he admitted. "It was perfect. A world away." His eyes saddened.

"And yes, baby, we need this." Taking her face in his hands, he kissed her, but there was sadness in that, too. Hoping to banish it for a few more seconds— especially in the wake of the baby that always turned her on— she was reaching up when he took her hands, pressed them to his lips, then smoothly slid behind her. With his arms braced on either side, cheek to her hair, he read the words on the screen.

"Ahh," he said with a sigh. "Charlotte."

"Yes. I really want her on board."

He angled away only enough to meet her eyes. "You don’t need her,

Nicki. You can do the cookbook yourself."

"I know that," she said as she had more than once. "But she’s an accomplished writer, and she has a history on Quinnipeague, too. Add her people pieces to my food ones, and the book’s that much better."

"She hasn’t stepped foot on the island in ten years," he said in the measured way that spoke of knowledge. Oh, he was knowledgeable— a pioneer in his field, always savvy on a personal vein.

But Nicole wasn’t deterred. "How better to lure her back? Besides, if you’re gone after a week, and Mom won’t be there, I want Charlotte." He was quiet. Nicole heard the argument even before he said, "She hasn’t been the best friend. She called your dad her surrogate father, but she didn’t even make it to the funeral."

"She was in Nepal. She couldn’t possibly get back in time. She did call. She was as upset as we were."

"Has she called again since?" he asked, though they both knew the answer to that.

"We e-mail."

"Often? No. And you’re the one who initiates it. Her replies are short."

"She’s busy."

He touched her cheek. "You haven’t seen each other in ten years.

You have different lives now. If you want to lure her back to recapture what you once had, you may be in for a fall."

"I miss her." When his expression grew guarded, she insisted, "No, it is not about that. I promised you. I will not tell her." She grew pleading.

"But it’s like all the stars are aligned, Jules. There’s the cookbook, and your being in North Carolina for the month, and Mom not wanting to go to Quinnipeague and needing someone to pack up the place— like I want to do it? That’ll be bad enough, but being alone there while you’re away? This is the last summer I’ll ever have at the house, and Charlotte is part of what that place means to me."

He was quiet. "You don’t even know where she is."

"No one does. She’s always on the go. That’s why I e-mail. She’ll get it wherever. And yes, she always answers." He was right about the brevity of her replies, though. Charlotte never shared much of her life now.

And yet, from the first mention of this project, Nicole had pictured her taking part in it. Oh yes, Charlotte knew Quinnipeague. But she also knew Nicole, and Nicole needed to see her. She and Julian were going through a rough patch, tender moments like this one— once commonplace— now further between. A month at Duke training incoming doctors in the technique for which he was known would be a much- needed distraction for him. And for her? Charlotte could distract her. The memories were good; she and Nicole had always been in sync.

If there was any fun to be had this summer, Charlotte was her one great hope.

Julian tucked a long strand of hair behind her ear. His expression was aching— and Nicole might have reached for him again if he hadn’t cupped her head. "I just don’t want you hurt," he said and kissed her forehead. Then he held her back. "Do you think she’ll accept?" Nicole smiled, confident in this at least. "Absolutely. I don’t care how much time has passed. She loves Quinnipeague. The temptation will be too great to resist."

Copyright @ Barbara Delisnky 2013

Continues...

Excerpted from Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky Copyright © 2013 by Barbara Delinsky. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions:

1. Quinnipeague is a fictional island, but based very closely on the many islands that dot Maine's coast and are popular with summer visitors. Have you been to a seasonal island or beach community on vacation? How was Quinnipeague similar to these places you've visited? What characteristics make Quinnipeague unique? What interesting dynamics play out in the story because of the seasonal nature of Quinnipeague? What differences did you find between the characters who are "locals" and those that are "summer people?"

2. One of the main plotlines is Sweet Salt Air revolve around Charlotte's and Nicole's efforts to write a cookbook. What is the significance of food--how it's prepared, served, and appreciated--in Sweet Salt Air? What makes the island's food special to the two women? Do they view food, and the process of collecting recipes and the stories behind them, differently?

3. Talk about the characters' lives off the island of Quinnipeague--Charlotte, who lives in Brooklyn but travels constantly, and Nicole who is firmly rooted to her home in Philadelphia. What does each woman's lifestyle reveal about her personality? Do their lifestyle choices seem in keeping with what the novel reveals about them?

4. Both Charlotte and Nicole are keeping secrets at the start of the novel that they have no intention of revealing. And yet, they both ultimately do. Do you understand why each woman kept her secret from the other? Do you think one was more justified in keeping her secret? What did you think of each woman's reaction to the truth? Have you ever kept a big secret from a friend, only to reveal it later?

5. If you were Nicole, could you forgive Charlotte for what she did? Do you think there are some things in friendship that are unforgiveable? Do you think Charlotte has forgiven herself? If yes, what happened on the island that allowed her to forgive herself? If not, what do you think she still needs to do?

6. Nicole and Julian face challenges, but every marriage is tested at one time or another. What do you think is the hardest test? Illness? Infidelity? Money? Are we stronger for the suffering? In what ways?

7. Cecily Cole is a presence throughout the book, despite her death several years earlier. How do the locals see Cecily and her garden? How does Cecily's spirit affect each character in the novel? How do Leo's descriptions of Cecily as a mother affect your view of her? Do you believe in the kind of lingering legacy that the women discover in the herbs and food of Quinnipeague?

8. Discuss the role of Salt to the story in Sweet Salt Air? Do you and your friends have the same taste in books? How do Charlotte's and Nicole's differing reactions to the book reflect their natures? How did you enjoy the experience of hearing about a book you could not read? Were you surprised when you learned who had written Salt?

9. Nicole is upset over Angie's relationship with Tom. Do you feel that she's justified? Have you ever witnessed a parent's romantic involvement with a nonparent of yours? What emotions were involved for you? For your parent?

10. Leo has a "bad boy" edge. Does this make him more attractive to Charlotte? Do you think a little rebellion is attractive? Leo has committed some crimes in his life, crimes for which he's served time in jail. What is your sense of how Leo's time in jail affected him? Has he changed? Does doing bad things make us bad people? And what about Charlotte, who's committed no crimes, and yet, she's done some terrible things? Would you characterize Charlotte as "bad?"

11. If you could ask the author anything about Sweet Salt Air--clarification of a plot point, a detail about a particular character, scenes from the cutting-room floor--what would it be? (You may choose to contact Barbara Delinsky, via her website or Facebook, and ask her!)

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 82 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 82 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2013

    None of the reviews from June 19, 2013 Anonymous backwards are a

    None of the reviews from June 19, 2013 Anonymous backwards are about this book - they are just junk comments from people? communicating between themselves for kicks. B&N-you have got to do a better job of not posting these kinds of 'reviews' - it throws all ratings off and REALLY irritates people who want to know more about the book. Hey previous Anonymous reviewers - you are really doing a disservice to Barnes & Noble and all people who love a good book - please get your fun elsewhere. This isn't the place.

    31 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2013

    Why is it necessary for some of you who write your reviews to in

    Why is it necessary for some of you who write your reviews to include the plots of the books and in depth details of events that occur in the book itself? Why can't you just leave those details out of your reviews? I want to read the book and be intrigued by the authors twists and turns, their character development, their plot. When you tell me everything in advance you basically ruin the book for me so why buy it? Thanks a whole lot a**hats!

    15 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Barbara Delinsky is a fine writer. Her new book is very thoughtf

    Barbara Delinsky is a fine writer. Her new book is very thoughtful and moving. It is a story of great friendship. The characters are wonderfully developed and the plot is very interesting.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 20, 2013

    I have been a fan of Barbara Delinsky for years. She never fails

    I have been a fan of Barbara Delinsky for years. She never fails to amaze me with her wonderful talent. and her ability to always tell a fabulous story with compelling characters and intriguing plots. Sweet Salt Air is no exception there are wonderfully compelling characters and a very intriguing plot. I had no idea when I started reading it that  the plot would have such a personal meaning to me. I myself have MS so it was nice to see it brought into the spot light by one of my favorite authors.




    Nicole is a strong woman who has a lot of stress on her plate. She is the sole supporter of her husband Julian whom has MS, her father has recently passed away, and she is writing a cookbook with recipes from the island. I totally admired Nicole. When she is met with a challenge or fear she takes it on with with a force to be reckoned with. She has handled so much on her own that that I loved when Charlotte returns to her life and is able to lend the support that Nicole so needs. 




    Nicole's husband Julian is a high profile surgeon that doesn't want anyone to know he has been diagnosed with MS. This book shows us first hand some of the symptoms of MS and how they can have a horrible effect on the the patient but clearly be invisible to others. I was completely intrigued by Barbara Delinsky's ability to show how the strain of an illness effects a couple's marriage but  with love they can get through anything together.




    Charlotte is Nicole best friend and has been since childhood. Charlotte has been hiding a secret and trying to forget a secret from her past that could very well be the end of her life long friendship with Nicole. She's has been busy living the life of a freelance writer taking only the jobs that appeal to her and traveling all over the world to get the stories. I admired the friendship between Charlotte and Nicole. This a wonderful written story of friendship that can over come any obstacle in it's path. 




    Leo Cole is the island bad boy with a heart of gold. When he meets Charlotte sparks fly, the chemistry between these two is so thrilling and sweet. Leo has some issues that he has to overcome from his past. Charlotte is just the woman to help him. Leo & Charlotte are such a wonderful couple is great fun watching these two find their way together. 




    I loved this book, it is full of drama and romance. Ms. Delinksy has written a fabulous story about friendship, love, romance, and family connections. I would recommend having a box of Kleenex handy when reading this book. There are a few scene where you might them. 




    If you are a fan of Barbara Delinsky, as I am,  I think you are going to love this story. If you have never had the opportunity to read one of her books and are looking for a book with some drama and romance I think you will enjoy Sweet Salt Air. 




    I was thrilled to win this Advanced Readers' Copy from goodreads in exchange for a review. It was my pleasure to share my opinion of this wonderful story with you.

    13 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    This is not facebook or twitter or n y times book review

    Barnes and noble you should monitor comments---do not give story away just say if it is worth reading and stop with non book related comments--be fair to readers!

    11 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Should we accept the life we have been given, or always search f

    Should we accept the life we have been given, or always search for something else?

    After ten years of separation, friends Charlotte and Nicole have reunited on Quinnipeague Island to
    collaborate on a cookbook about unique delicacies of the island cuisine.  
    While apart each built a life with Charlotte writing about her travels around the world, and Nicole
    settled into the life of a doctor’s wife and envied blogger.  However, Nicole wonders if the book they
    are producing will fix whatever drove Charlotte from their friendship.

    Nicole’s can capture the recipes for each delight while Charlotte will write to capture that there is so
    much more than just food on the table when it is prepared with love.  Nicole and Charlotte know the
    peace the island can provide as well as the joy of just dipping a toe in the ocean.  An unexpected surprise
     for Charlotte is her discovery of Leo Cole, an island loner with a terrible reputation and worse attitude.  
    Charlotte is drawn to this dark and foreboding man and dares to push the relationship envelope with him
    regardless of whether he lets her into the one place no one is allowed to visit, his mother’s garden.  
    There are legends born around this mystical place and Charlotte wants to examine it but is it the garden
    or Leo she wants to know more about.  

    Mystery is the spice of life but secrets are the danger lurking around the corner ready to ruin everything.  
    Nicole never quite understood why Charlotte took off and when the answer to that question is revealed
    Charlotte prior poor decision is about to intersect with Nicole’s present life in a most shocking fashion

    Barbara Delinsky has produced a literary masterpiece of life, love, tragedy, and answering the question
    about what you do when your life does not follow your carefully constructed plan.

    9 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2013

    Intricate beautiful story

    A beautifully woven story that makes this a tough one to put down

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    'Sweet Salt Air' is a contemporary women's fiction novel that fo

    'Sweet Salt Air' is a contemporary women's fiction novel that focuses on two women, Nicole and Charlotte, who were once best friends on the island of Quinnipeague. Since growing up, Nicole and Charlotte have slowly grown apart and lost the close relationship they once shared. Nicole is a travel writer, and when she is assigned to write a book about island food, she immediately invites her old friend to accompany her back to their childhood home. While there, both women must face the secrets they've kept from themselves and each other - and may cost them dearly if brought to light. Will they be able to fully open up to each other once again or will the secrets they have kept for so long tear their friendship apart?

    This was a beautifully written and heartfelt novel of friendship, love, loss, and the power of healing. The setting was perfect for the story - the small island of Quinnipeague really drew me in to the world that the author created. She tells the story with such detailed description and vivid imagery that I could easily imagine myself on the island alongside the characters. Speaking of the characters, Nicole and Charlotte were great leads in the book. Their relationship is long standing and full of complex emotions and secrets - just like most friendships are. I really enjoyed reading about both women and their relationship with each other as well as to others in their lives. The author did a superb job of creating a layered storyline for each character and then entwined them to make the overarching plot. All the parts flowed effortlessly together, creating a wonderful novel. The writing itself showcases the author's immense talent and her knack for revealing the complex nature of friendship and of people themselves. I highly recommend this book for fans of contemporary fiction and women's fiction - or for those readers who would like to sit back with a fantastic summer read.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Great Book

    This book was perfect - friendship, romance and the beach - great beach book. Definitely recommend getting this to read. :)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2013

    DO YOU READ THE REVIEWS THAT GO ON YOUR WEBSITE?? NOT APP

    DO YOU READ THE REVIEWS THAT GO ON YOUR WEBSITE??




    NOT APPROPRIATE AND I DIDNT THIS THIS WAS A TWEETING SERVICE

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    I am enjoying this book so very much.. I would love to visit the Island...

    Love this book covers a lot of subjects that are happening in this time of my life... I can relate a lot to what is going on in the story... Barbara Delinsky is my favorite Author and her books get better and better .. I am from New England so I really enjoy reading about places that I am acquainted with. I am looking forward to her next book... I am not quit finished with this one...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2013

    Thoroughly enjoyable read!!!

    Hadn't read a Delinsky book in a long time but decided to read this one! Very happy I did! The characters were very interesting although in a flawed way that really kept me intrigued. The setting in Quinnepeague Maine makes me want to summer there!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2013

    Very good read!

    I really enjoyed reading this. It held your interest throughout .

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2013

    Great book!

    This was a really great book...I loved every minute! Characters were well developed and I liked the way the story was told - by the perspective of both friends. I didn't want the story to end!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2013

    Boring, repetive, predictable and much too long for the story th

    Boring, repetive, predictable and much too long for the story that was told---seems like a long version of the old time Harlequin romances. Used to love this author --what happened?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2013

    Different than her other books.

    You can tell that she has changed editors and publishing houses. This book is more tightly written and not as sappy and predictable as some of hers have been in the past. I will look forward to her next book to see if she keeps in this new writing style.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    Would not recommend

    Very boring book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2013

    Interesting read

    The subject matter held my interest (though very far fetched) as well as the Quinnie lifestyle but the relationship between the friends was also hard to understand. I can see having a strong connection with a friend you last touch with but it seemed to strained to be real.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Highly Recommended - You must check it out!

    This was an absolute Must Read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Do not buy the audio

    I did not enjoy this book as purchased on audio and the narrator had a grinding voice which turned me off. (if not a good narrator, then it can ruin a book). Liked the setting and the story, but thought a little slow and was not one of those books you cannot put down. I may go back and read the book later, but after listening to the audio, would not recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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