"Come away to Quinnipeague" with Barbara Delinsky's latest novel
Looking for a summer getaway read? Barbara Delinsky invites you to “come away to Quinnipeague" in her new book, Sweet Salt Air. There is nothing elegant about this island, with its rutted paths and weathered docks, but perhaps that is what makes Quinnipeague so appealing. Home to barely three hundred year-round residents, Quinnipeague is one of those close-knit island communities that savors good food and protects its own. Delinsky describes it as being authentic and real, the kind of place to go for a little fun and well deserved rest. I describe it as the perfect setting for this beautifully written and heartfelt novel filled with heart-tugging moments, love, family, friendship, and long kept secrets. Add a little intrigue and just a dash of magic and you have the perfect summer read.
Nicole Carlyle and Charlotte Evans spent their childhood summers on the island. They have slowly grown apart and no longer have the close relationship they once shared. Nicole is the wife of a highly respected Philadelphia surgeon, a homemaker and an increasingly successful food blogger, and Charlotte is a freelance writer who travels the world with no real roots. Now, after ten years of separation, they reunite on Quinnipeague to collaborate on a cookbook about the unique delicacies of the island cuisine. Secrets kept them apart. Nicole is hiding a secret about her husband while putting a brave face on for the world to see, while Charlotte has a secret she's kept from Nicole since their last summer on the island. Leo Cole is the island bad boy with a heart of gold. He also owns the herb gardens the locals rely on for the extra special ingredients that make family recipes so unique and flavorful. When he meets Charlotte sparks fly, the chemistry between these two is so thrilling and sweet. Leo has issues of his own to overcome from his past and Charlotte may be just the woman to help him. The budding relationship between Leo and Charlotte was my favorite part of the book and it was great fun watching these two find their way together.
Sweet Salt Air is not all romance and light reading. In my opinion, Barbara Delinsky’s writing is a mix between Kristin Hannah and Jodi Picoult. The story is solid and full of substance and tackles issues of loyalty and betrayal, as well as medical and moral. Nicole’s secret is revealed as signs of her husband Julian’s serious progressive disease become too difficult to hide. In an unexpected twist, Charlotte’s secret also holds the key to their future. There are many emotions throughout the story that draw you in. Between Julian’s withdrawal and depression, and Nicole’s frustration of being forced to keep her husband’s illness private for four years, the author did a great job of showing how the characters dealt with the stresses of that. You begin to understand the impact of serious illness on a career and a family, and the strides being made in medical research. There are tidbits of information scattered throughout the book about the herbs Leo nurtures in his gardens and how to use them and for what reason. I think each character fills a need within the book, but continues to grow and change as the book moves forward. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.