Title: The Sweetness of Salt
Author: Cecilia Galante
Concepts: entrepreneurship, family businesses, jobs, careers
Review: Julia Anderson, a high school valedictorian, had already mapped out her entire career trajectory. After a summer internship at the District Attorney’s office, she would study pre-law at her dad’s alma mater and then become a successful trial lawyer, just like her dad. She did not realize, however, the extent to which a spontaneous decision to travel from Ohio to Vermont to visit her older sister could generate uncertainties about this plan and what she really wanted to do.
What began as a weekend visit stretched into weeks as Julia became more involved in helping her sister, Sophie, renovate the decrepit house she had purchased and transform it into the business of Sophie’s dreams: a bakery. While they worked they talked, and Julia learned more about a tragedy in her family that everyone had kept secret from her. Julia was determined to learn the truth, even if it meant waiting patiently for Sophie to find the courage to divulge what had actually happened.
With its blend of interesting characters and an idyllic small-town setting, this novel makes good use of the title’s metaphor of salt helping to accent the flavors of other ingredients in a recipe. Although the story focuses on family relationships, especially that of the two sisters, it mixes in several economics themes related to entrepreneurship and career development. The end result is an engaging read that may necessitate a tissue box.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children