A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett fulfilled the Book with Salty, Sweet, Bitter, or Spicy in the title for the 2019 PopSugar Reading Challenge. Disclaimer: I am not a parrot head. I enjoy a margarita occasionally and like a good beach song. I did not love this book.
A Salty Piece of Land chronicles Tully Mars’ journey to a new life in a new home. He meets a great cast of characters as he travels from Wyoming to the islands of the Caribbean. The people are diverse, full-bodied with their own story to tell. Tully merely touches on their lives as he moves towards his happy ending.
Unfortunately, the book is not quite in chronological order. It caused me no end of confusion as I listened to the tale. Many times I didn’t know what time period we were in. And I was disappointed to not get more details of his romance with an amazing female character. Donna Kay was his true love, and it ended in flames. I wanted to hear that whole story in detail, but Buffett seemed to brush over.
(Note: After researching for the blog, I later discovered the Tully/Donna Kay tale is a short story titled “Take Another Road,” which is now on my TBR list.)
Cleopatra Highbourne (a telling name if I’ve ever heard one) stood out as the highlight of the book. Her tale was compelling, vivid, and relatable. I loved her. She should’ve been the main character. I would’ve enjoyed the thing a hell of a lot more if she had been. Her tale felt complete, even for a 100-year-old woman of. She was real, likable, and exciting. Unlike Tully.
Tully’s story (and all of A Salty Piece of Land) seemed like one long testosterone driven snore. Reading it was not unlike diving into Hemmingway. Manly, manly, manly. And boring. No emotions other than the breakup with Donna Kay. Nothing but telling, telling, telling. If I wanted to listen to an old sailor talk, I’ll bug my husband.
Part of this blog experience is to read outside my genre, to find great books that I might have never found in romance or cozy mysteries. I never would’ve chosen this book before the 2019 Challenge. I wish I’d made another choice.
I give the book three margaritas because I loved Cleopatra so very much.