Years ago I remember reading Where is Joe Merchant? and falling in love with it. I have to say that I don't remember specifics about the book, but the feeling I am left approximately 15 years after reading it is that it felt very Jimmy Buffett like. The characters and setting were both exotic. I don't remember anything about it feeling too grimy either.
I was hoping A Salty Piece of Land would be the same way. It was and it wasn't.
The places and people were exotic and memorable. The plot seemed to float along at the whim of the tides. I loved that part of it! I didn't feel like I had to read it quickly or get to the next part too soon. I could just pick it up and read a little when I had the time. Then somewhere in the middle the main character got less interesting, the new characters were grimy, the plot felt yucky, and the whole thing got too wordy. I skimmed a few chapters and started to give up hope, but I wanted to finish it. And I'm glad I did. The story picked up again and the lovely characters returned.
There were times that it was too explicit. At other times too wordy. And at times too convenient. Normally those are thing that would make me put the book down and not care about finishing it. However the lovely characters and strong sense of place were enough to make me just skip those parts and continue. And the fact that I skipped them and didn't miss them says how unimportant they were to the overall plot. So you can skip those parts too and not miss anything.
Overall, not as good as Where Is Joe Merchant?, but still rather enjoyable.
DISCLAIMER: I just read this book for fun and was not asked to review it by anyone. I did receive a free copy from my aunt in law because she was passing it along. The opinions are completely my own.