Friday, February 04, 2011
Review: The Sweetness of Salt
2010; Bloomsbury; ISBN 978-1-59990-512-9 (hardcover)
Summary: Take two sisters. Divide in half and add overprotective parents to one half. To the other, add a dream of opening a bakery and a four-year-old daughter. Keep separate, then combine after high school graduation. Add a heaping cup of lies and secrets and stir vigorously. Wait, letting emotions simmer. Add a dollop of friendship and a pinch of romance. Bake for a summer and enjoy.
The story of practical, sheltered Julia and her impulsive older sister Sophie is part of this coming-of-age novel. After years of her parents planning her life, Julia finally begins listening to the little voice inside her, the voice that says the University of Pittsburgh and law school isn't what she wants. Sophie encourages Julia to make her own choices and break away from their parents, which is a rocky process for Julia. The two sisters seem like total opposites, but over the course of the summer, they find common ground. Set in a small Vermont town that belies the taciturn New England stereotype, the setting and the supporting characters add depth. The Sweetness of Salt will be enjoyed by fans of Deb Caletti.