I received a free copy of this book in my Chat Pack in return for reviewing this book on various social media channels. The opinions are 100% my own.
I am a Kindle-girl. I converted several years ago because as much as I love a real book, they can be expensive when you read a lot (which I do), and they take up a ton of space. Yes, they are lovely. Yes, real books even smell better, but for me in my very transient world, Kindle-reading is the answer.
Last week, reading Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky, I almost changed my mind.
Sweet Salt Air is the story of two friends separated by time and a terrible secret and brought back together by the island they had spent so many summers on during their childhood. The main characters, Charlotte and Nicole, spent many summers together on an island off the coast of Maine called Quinnipeague where they are now reuniting after ten years apart to write a cookbook together based on the recipes and herbs and spices local to the island. I loved how the two women seemed to fit so easily together like pieces of a puzzle, each with strengths that complemented the other’s weaknesses, just the way true best friends are! I really loved the way the love story began, Charlotte looking for a story for the cookbook and the Leo, living in the midst of the garden she so desperately wanted to see, just wanting to be left alone. I thought the characters were very relate-able, and I found myself identifying even the smaller characters with people and memories from my own past. I also thought the pace of the book was excellent! I was never bored, but I was given time to allow big moments to sink in.
I will say this though. My favorite character in the whole book was … Quinnipeague. The author’s description of the town, the beach, the flowers, and the herbs, the sites, sounds, and smells of the entire island, made me wish I could jump on a plane and summer with Charlotte and Nicole. I don’t even eat seafood, and I was craving my own bowl of chowdah! Yes, by far, Quinni was the best part of this book! I found myself touching the pages, wishing I could dive right into them and land on the sand near the ocean. Perfection. I actually caught myself touching the pages lovingly, so enamored by the words on them. I thought I’d be converting back. to books.
A few days later I read another book, another “real” book, and I was so excited to dive into those smooth pages as well. I was disappointed by the experience. It was a very good book, but it wasn’t Sweet Salt Air. I didn’t crave to be in the moment with the characters. It could just have easily been electronic pages on my Kindle. It wasn’t the touch of paper pages that enamored me of Sweet Salt Air; it was the well-crafted story and descriptions that peaked all my senses. It was a wonderful storyline and the perfect ending. It was the ability of the author to really make me believe I could smell the Sweet Salt Air.