Sweet Salt Air: A Novel
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On Quinnipeague, 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 coastal 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, for a final summer, to help. 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.
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.
Bestselling author and master storyteller Barbara Delinsky invites you come away to Quinnipeague…
when I was landing and that you had to be here with flowers—’ ‘The flowers were my idea,’ he said and, as if in proof, a van pulled up just then with the logo of a local flower shop on the side. Minutes later, Charlotte was holding the bushiest arrangement of wildflowers she had ever seen. It was actually pretty ugly, but of course, Nicole was making a statement about how much prettier wildflowers were in a Quinnipeague fall, and that Charlotte needed to come see for herself. ‘These’ll be dead
pattern, knit half a row, unknit the stitches, and tried again. Eventually, she gave up and, sitting on the floor by the bookshelf, looked through picture albums. At one point, she got up to show Nicole a shot of the two of them, gawky and mismatched at thirteen, but Nicole held up a hand and shook her head no without taking her eyes from the page she was on. Putting the album away, Charlotte returned to the sofa. Salt was the story of a fisherman, his dog, and a woman who had burst onto the
One Quinnipeague lay eleven miles from the mainland. With a year-round population of nearly three hundred, it was serviced by a daily mail boat that carried groceries and a handful of passengers, but no cars. Since Charlotte had one of those for the first time in her life, she proudly booked the ferry, boarding in Rockland on a Tuesday, which was one of only three days each week when its captain cruised past Vinalhaven to islands like Quinnipeague. Nicole had offered airfare to speed up the
responsibility and liability.’ ‘But you haven’t operated in four years.’ ‘It’s about transparency. He said I needed to tell Antoine. I just called him.’ Nicole gasped again. ‘Omigod. What did he say?’ ‘He went through the mumbo-jumbo about legalities and ethics, only it isn’t mumbo-jumbo. It’s what any hospital would do.’ ‘He can’t ask you to leave.’ ‘He can, but he didn’t. He was sympathetic.’ ‘Like, upset?’ ‘Stunned. He asked all the right questions. But friendship only goes so far. As
still the enemy. Nicole wanted to forgive her, but couldn’t. Feeling a pervasive sadness, she said, ‘I never could understand why we grew apart. I told myself you were giving me space, like you knew you couldn’t be part of my marriage and were stepping back. When it got worse, I blamed it on your work. Then on our having such different lifestyles. But all along it was the other, wasn’t it?’ Charlotte’s eyes were dull. Yes. That quickly, Nicole was stung all over again. ‘You were my BFF.’ ‘I