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Sweet Salt Air: A Novel Hardcover – June 18, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set on the fictional Maine island of Quinnipeague, Delinksy's novel centers on two childhood friends, Charlotte and Nicole, who reunite to coauthor a cookbook about the local cuisine. (Warning: there are tantalizing food descriptions in this book. Don't listen to it while hungry.) Narrator Marguerite Gavin's voice is low and sensuous. This serves her well in narrating the story and in voicing Charlotte, the more worldly and assertive of the two friends. But it fails to adequately capture Nicole's childlike nature. Early in the novel, Nicole's voice is described as being close to that of a 10-year-old girl, but Gavin sometimes provides her with almost the same resonant, wry tone she gives Charlotte. Also, Gavin's down east accent is on-again, off-again, with some local characters having no discernible accent, and others sounding almost like caricatures. However, Gavin's rendition of Leo, the surly bad-boy neighbor up the road, is spot-on and quite entertaining. A St. Martin's hardcover. (June) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Delinsky’s latest won’t disappoint her fans. Friendship, romance, and her trademark New England setting—this time, an island off the coast of Maine—are all present and accounted for. The focus is on Nicole and Charlotte, girlhood friends who’ve been estranged for the past 10 years. They reunite at Nicole’s family’s summer home to collaborate on a cookbook, both of them harboring secrets. When Nicole reveals her husband, Julian, is suffering from multiple sclerosis, Charlotte comes clean that she and Julian shared a drunken one-night stand before he married Nicole. The affair resulted in a baby Charlotte gave up for adoption, a child whose stem cells hold the key to Julian’s recovery. Complicating matters further, Charlotte has fallen for the island’s enigmatic bad boy, Leo, who, it turns out, has penned a best-selling novel with a plot that closely mirrors their “lovers from different worlds” relationship. Leo’s tale ends on a sour note, placing his future with Charlotte in doubt. Never fear; Delinsky knows when a happy ending is in order. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Delinsky’s popularity increases with each book, so this novel is being rolled out with a gigantic print run and a similarly far-reaching promotional campaign. --Patty Wetli

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (June 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250007038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250007032
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (628 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Delinsky, author of BLUEPRINTS (2015), SWEET SALT AIR (2013), ESCAPE (2011), NOT MY DAUGHTER (2010), WHILE MY SISTER SLEEPS (2009), THE SECRET BETWEEN US (2008), and FAMILY TREE (2007), has written more than twenty-two bestselling novels with over thirty million copies in print. She has been published in twenty languages worldwide. Barbara's fiction centers upon everyday families facing not-so-everyday challenges. She is particularly drawn to exploring themes of motherhood, marriage, sibling rivalry, and friendship in her novels.

A lifelong New Englander, Barbara earned a B.A. in Psychology at Tufts University and an M.A. in Sociology at Boston College. As a breast cancer survivor who lost her mother to the disease when she was only eight, Barbara compiled the non-fiction book Uplift: Secrets From the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors, a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes. She donates her proceeds from the sale of this book to her charitable foundation, which funds an ongoing research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Barbara enjoys knitting, photography, and cats. She also loves to interact with her readers through her website at www.barbaradelinsky.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdelinsky, and on Twitter as @BarbaraDelinsky.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By JoanOH VINE VOICE on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have long been a Barbara Delinsky fan, and am always first in line to receive any new work by this author. But, I've always thought of her books as good "summer reads"... very much about the characters, but more on the side of a quick romance novel than a work of great substance. Always a book I can pick up and put down in small time increments.

That's why SWEET SALT AIR was such a wonderful surprise! This is a new and improved Delinsky, whose ability to bring characters to life hasn't changed, but who has added so many more layers to her writing. In my opinion her previous books were always about her characters. SWEET SALT AIR takes those characters and creates situations with such breadth and depth that is a true joy to read. The book grabbed me from page 1 up until 10 pages from the end -- when I put the book down because I didn't WANT to finish it (because I hate when GREAT books end!). I did eventually finish it and found the ending truly satisfying.

Along with the new writing style, the story itself is a great read. Family, friends, relationships, happiness, sadness, uncertainty -- it's all there. It's so beautifully written that you can practically smell the "sweet salt air".

Highly, highly recommend this new Delinsky book. And I'm already looking forward to her next work!
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Gr8ful VINE VOICE on July 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Good: Excellent storytelling, wonderful descriptions of the island, easy laid-back style of writing.

The Bad: Endless descriptions of herbs, repetitive scenes, mystical powers of the herbs, and the fear of islanders to somehow anger the dead matriarch of the all powerful herbs.

The Whiny: Just shoot Nicole if she whines one more time.

I seriously just had to skip over paragraphs that had to do with the mystical powers and descriptions of the herbs and the dead Cecily's continued influence over the island. I also skipped past some of the overly long descriptions of an amazing recipe or food description.

I know the above is negative but the story itself was quite good.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mary Gramlich VINE VOICE on June 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
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.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Corey A. Balazowich VINE VOICE on May 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When perusing upcoming books by some of my favorite authors to put on my "to be read" shelf so I remember to pick them up as they become available, Sweet Salt Air was recommended to me on Amazon because of what I'd been adding. Immediately the book's mame piqued my interest because there are fewer smells in this world that I love more than salt air. I then realized it is written by Barbara Delinsky and I was excited as I'd read other books of hers in the past and enjoyed them. When I then read the synopsis and saw that it was set in my beloved Maine I couldn't wait for the release date! I was super stoked when I saw this book in my offerings for Amazon Vine and jumped at the chance to read it before it came out.

Sweet Salt Air takes place on a small island in Maine (sadly I believe it is fictitious) where two friends come together for the first time in many years for a summer. Together they write a cookbook while sorting through the house and getting it ready for sale. Each friend is in a different place in life - Nicole is hiding a secret about her husband while putting a brave face on for the world to see while Charlotte is a freelance writer traveling the world but has a secret she's kept from Nicole since their last summer on the island.

I was expecting your usual fluffy beach read but I should have known to know more was to come from Ms Delinsky and she didn't disappoint. She brought Maine to life quite vividly and captured the essence of what I adore about that state. The prominent relationship in the book, the friendship between Nicole and Charlotte was well written and I enjoyed the journey with them. I had a feeling how the book would end up but I still was pleasantly surprised by a few things and especially enjoyed the romance side of the story.
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