Summer of Salt is entirely whimsical, touching, and a fantastic read. I was not sure what I was expecting when I requested this title on Edelweiss, but I’m so glad I did.
Georgina Fernweh waits with growing impatience for the tingle of magic in her fingers—magic that has been passed down through every woman in her family. Her twin sister, Mary, already shows an ability to defy gravity. But with their eighteenth birthday looming at the end of this summer, Georgina fears her gift will never come.
An island where strange things happen . . .
No one on the island of By-the-Sea would ever call the Fernwehs what they really are, but if you need the odd bit of help—say, a sleeping aid concocted by moonlight—they are the ones to ask.
No one questions the weather, as moody and erratic as a summer storm.
No one questions the (allegedly) three-hundred-year-old bird who comes to roost on the island every year.
A summer that will become legend . . .
When tragedy strikes, what made the Fernweh women special suddenly casts them in suspicion. Over the course of her last summer on the island—a summer of storms, of love, of salt—Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.
First off, I am in love with the frequent Edgar Allen Poe quotes and the inspirations within the text. I just needed to put that out there. My geek heart was very happy. Secondly, this book has a powerful impact. For the first half, I was thinking this is sweet, and then in the second half you kind of just get hit with the power and weight of certain events. I was caught completely off guard, and it got so intense!
(Also one of the side characters is bisexual, another is aroace, and Georgina is a lesbian, so that was a great diverse storyline to read about. I am seriously going to have to start making a list of my favorite books with ace representation as MC or SC).
Sisterhood and Themes
I adored the concept of sisterhoood in this book. Georgina and Mary aren’t picture book sisters. They fight, they have disagreements, but they are bonded by love and trust. At the same time, there are inside jokes and adorable scenes on the page between them. The fact that this book is grounded in sisterhood was the main reason I requested it. What I was met with was a fantastic setting which was entirely whimsical full of a plot that was both deep and full of shadows.
As I said, around the halfway mark, this book takes a turn full of tension, danger, and darkness. In those moments you can see that the first half was the calm before the storm. It was always building up to this, setting the tone, just lulling you with it’s calm waves. Throughout Summer of Salt there’s a conversational tone that makes this abrupt shit, this cataclysmic event even more striking.
We need to ask ourselves what the line is between protecting someone and smothering them? (There are many fantastic quotes and themes I can’t share because it’d spoiler you, so you’ll have to take it from me, or read it and message me!)
Summer of Salt is like a mix of The Wicked Deep meets The Price Guide to the Occult meets The Strange Sorrows of Ava Lavender. I know those are tons of comp titles, but they totally work! If you loved any of those, this is a good book to pick up next. Check out Summer of Salt on Goodreads.