Later this month I'll post about the amazing time my grandchildren and I spent at Sandcastle, the Rosenberg's large and lovely home on Fripp Island, right on the beach.
For now, in the spirit of passing on a bit of the sweet, salty air to my blog visitors, I've decided to post about an entertaining novel of a summer adventure that takes place on a remote island off the coast of Maine.
Sweet Salt Air by New York Times bestselling author Barbara Delinsky is a delightful book, filled with the sights and smells and tastes of the beach.
The story is about Charlotte and Nicole, best friends who spent their summers in Nicole's family home on an island off the coast of Maine. After Nicole's marriage, the women's lives spin off in separate directions.
Charlotte has become a successful freelance travel writer whose assignments and adventures across the globe leave her longing to set down roots. Nicole lives in Philadelphia and is married to Julian, a successful surgeon. Nicole has turned her passion for organic food and fresh fruit and produce from farmers' markets into a popular food blog.
Ten years after Nicole's wedding, the women get together and spend the summer in Nicole's family vacation home where they collaborate on a cookbook featuring island foods and recipes.
Working on the cookbook rekindles pleasant memories, but it also unearths secrets, insecurities, and betrayal. Charlotte is consumed by guilt over something that happened before she left the island. Nicole also has a secret involving her husband that could be a matter of life or death.
While collecting recipes for the cookbook, the women reconnect with and befriend some islanders, including bad boy Leo Cole, who fiercely protects access to his late mother's garden and guards a surprising secret.
The women also experience the joy of rediscovering the beauty and uniqueness of the island -- the special scents and herbs that grow there -- and the delicious foods prepared with islanders' loving touches. Just about every chapter is infused with some sort of food, herb, plant, flower, or beverage. There's coffee, lots of coffee.
What I like most about Sweet Salt Air are the characters, especially Charlotte and Leo. I also was swept away by the beach setting and the engaging twists and turns the story took.
The sensual details make the novel come alive. The mention of so much food is expected with a story about the writing of a cookbook, but at times I felt dizzy with sensory overload and got sidetracked from the story. And telling a good story is what Barbara Delinsky does best.
So, if you're hungry for a tasty summer read, add Sweet Salt Air to your list. It is a sweet and touching novel about friendship, betrayal, redemption, love, forgiveness -- and food.
In the spirit of sharing, I'm giving away my Advance Readers' Edition of Sweet Salt Air to one of my visitors.
For a chance to win, just leave a comment by June 20 about a trip you've taken to a beach or a favorite vacation -- or just stop by to say "Hi!"
I'll select one commenter's name at random and on June 21 I'll post the winner's name, along with instructions on how to contact me to collect your winning.
Almost forgot: Although St. Martin's Press provided me a free copy of the ARE of Sweet Salt Air, I was not paid to give a favorable review.