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July 22, 2022

Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The proper balance of sugar and salt was the key to perfect barbeque sauce.  Of course, when it came to barbeque sauce, everybody had an opinion about the combination of acid, aromatics, fruit, and flavorings - the ineffable umami - that made each bite so satisfying."  (p 7)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel Sugar and Salt by Susan Wiggs
July 2022; William Morrow; 978-0062914224
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); women's fiction

A can’t-miss tale of friendship, hardship, redemption, and love between a San Francisco baker and a barbecue master from Texas.

Susan Wiggs has been a long-time favorite author of mine and her new book adds another excellent novel to her list of great reads.  It's a story about food, friendship, love, and finding second chances.  Plus there are several recipes at the end so that cooks can try their luck at some of the great food mentioned in the book. 

If you expect this book to be a light, fluffy romance, you're going to be disappointed because it is so much more than that.  The characters are well written - flaws and all and their lives have been difficult.  The author does a great job of presenting two different time periods for each of the main characters so that the reader understands all of their history.  It took hard work and resilience for them to get to where they are at the beginning of the book with Margo opening her barbeque restaurant while Jerome operates the bakery next door.  They both have a lot of baggage and are unsure if they want to make the leap to gain a second chance at love.

Margo lived in Texas and had a dream to open a barbeque restaurant and developed a sauce that she sold through a friend's restaurant.  However, she ended up in a bad place because of some of the people who were part of her life and she thought that all of her dreams were unreachable.  She decides to move from Texas to San Francisco to start a new life and open her dream restaurant.  After looking at several sites, she chooses a building that shares a state-of-the-art kitchen with the bakery next door.  The bakery was started by Ida and is now run by her grandson Jerome.  He has baggage too, in the shape of two young children that he shares with his divorced wife.  The spark between Margo and Jerome starts slowly - well she did throw him to the ground the first time she saw him, believing him to be a thief but their times together get better after that.  Can they both leave their pasts behind and start a new life with each other?  Will love surpass all of the baggage that they both have?

Make sure you aren't hungry when you read this because the description of some of the food is so real that you'll want to go to Salt restaurant for barbeque followed by a dessert from Sugar.  If you're really hungry, Susan gives us recipes at the end of the book for some of the yummy dishes that are part of the story.  Love and food make the world go 'round.

Buy Sugar and Salt at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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