February 2, 2012

The Sweetness of Salt by Cecilia Galante

Title: The Sweetness of Salt
Author: Cecilia Galante
Pages: 320
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

From bn.com:  Julia just graduated as her high school valedictorian, has a full ride to college in the fall and a coveted summer internship clerking for a federal judge. But when her older sister, Sophie, shows up at the graduation determined to reveal some long buried secrets, Julia's carefully constructed plans come to a halt. Instead of the summer she had painstakingly laid out, Julia follows Sophie back to Vermont, where Sophie is opening a bakery—and struggling with some secrets of her own. What follows is a summer of revelations—some heartwarming, some heartbreaking, and all slowly pointing Julia toward a new understanding of both herself and of the sister she never really knew.

What do you do when you realize you've been blindly following a path laid out for you by someone else?  Spurred on by a long buried family secret coming to light, Julia takes her estranged sister up on an offer to go visit her in Vermont, where she's renovating an old house into a bakery.  Once there, the sisters explore the pieces of the past that no one else will speak of and start making new roads for themselves.  I don't want to give anything else away because the anticipation of finding out the family secret was part of what made this book so great. 

Another big part of what I loved about this book was how genuinely likeable all the characters were- Julia, Sophie, Milo, Aiden, the Table of Knowledge...

Speaking of the Table of Knowledge, all I could think of when reading about them was the "Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor" episode of Home Improvement.

This is totally who I imagined in my mind when I thought of the Table of Knowledge.

I couldn't find the exact scene that they made me think of but this at 2:57 is close enough.  I love small town stories with small town characters.  They always have the best personalities and are the most fun to watch the main characters interact with.

The scenes where Sophie was baking, especially when she makes the biscuits (mmm buttery biscuits!) had my mouth watering had me wanting to leave work immediately to start baking.

This story has a little bit of everything: family, friendship, romance, suspense, sorrow, and self-exploration.  It is a whole lot of story packed into 320 pages.  You would think this book would be overstuffed with everything in it, but I thought it was just perfect.

New cover alert! 
The paperback is coming out on May 22nd with a brand new cover!

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