"On the island of By-the-Sea, you could always smell two things: salt and magic." For Georgina (Georgie) Fernweh and her twin sister, Mary, odd occurrences are a part of everyday life. The Fernweh family, which has lived on By-the-Sea for hundreds of years, is magic. Every Fernweh woman inherits an ability--controlling fire, walking on water, teleportation--before her 18th birthday. While Georgie's mother is skilled with potions and Mary has been able to float since birth, Georgie is still without a gift, and, with her birthday right around the corner, she fears she may be "normal... just a sidekick." The twins are also preparing for this to be their last summer on the island, since both are setting off for college in the fall.
The twins plan to spend the summer working at their mother's inn, which caters to the devout birdwatchers who return each year to observe an unusual, maybe-300-year-old bird named Annabella on its annual island pilgrimage. But when a chilling crime shocks the island and the community is divided, the superstitious islanders (who know about but never speak of the Fernweh family magic) become suspicious of Georgie and her sister. Assisted by a few faithful friends--including Prue, a beautiful tourist with whom Georgie is quickly and secretly falling in love--Georgie races to find justice.
Treacherous weather, shaken faith, a sister who seems to lose herself more each day and insecurity in her own magical abilities all plague Georgie as she vows to protect her family, find the real perpetrators of the crime and right the wrongs in the only world she has ever known. Readers will find themselves absorbed in Katrina Leno's (Everything All at Once) Summer of Salt as they are pulled inexorably toward the painful but powerful conclusion. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor