Just Like Romeo & Juliet

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Two families at war, one with a daughter “at the right age”, the other with a son “of an adequate age to make the match work” have been at one another’s throat since two bakeries were built generations ago. The bakeries, right across the street from one another, one, owned by the Molina’s and the other, the Ramires family, battle daily, each claiming to be better than the other, each trying to outdo the other. And, because of these claims, both families, all the members, are at one another’s throat and have been, for a very, very, long time.

When a large supermarket chain moves into their Brazilian town of Olina, the two families worry that neither will survive as these larger stores always force out the little businesses in the area, once they move into a town. And, while Lari Ramires has been raised to believe to “Trust neither- thin-bottom frying pan, not Molinas,” she discovers that the only way that Salt (the Ramires bakery) can survive, is with the help of the Monlina’s bakery, Sugar. Unfortunately, that means that Lari will have to work with Pedro Molina to save their business. And, while Lari will do anything to make sure that Salt survives to pass down to generations of Ramires, in the future, she doesn't know if she can trust a Molina to help. After all, in the end, it might be only one bakery that survives, what if, when working with Pedro, he makes sure that it is only Sugar, that stands in the end?

When the pair begins to work together, they both see that the other, all the claims that have been made, all the hateful words that have been passed between the two families and the discord sewed because of the feud, each find that the other has qualities that they desire to keep and treasure. Pedro and Lari realize they are falling in love. But, how can they ensure that both bakeries survive along with a large supermarket chain? There is definitely not room for all three. Even if one bakery survived with the chain store, this would be a feat worthy of a God? What can the two do to make sure that the family bakeries that have stood for generations don’t go down in flames, put out of business by processed goods, packaged and sold en masse? And, if the two bakeries were to close, what would the town have, in the end? Does the community not realize all that is taken away when we let a large supermarket push smaller, specialized, quality businesses into extinction?

And, when Lari and Pedro realize they are in love, realize they think the other is someone they could trust with their very life, when they remember their families ingrained hate of the other, what will that do to all they truly think and feel about one another? Is a simple love story, while full of heart, longing, and desire, be enough to stand up against generations of hate toward the other? Will the Molina’s and the Ramires be the perfect mixture of sugar and salt together, or will they end up like oil and water, in the race to survive a big business trying to push a small one out of a town, forever? Salt & Sugar, by Rebecca Carvalho, is definitely a great, new, interpretation of a story that combines a tale that includes both love & family feud, just like Romeo & Juliet, in the end, after all, their ending was not a happy one. Will Salt & Sugar end just as badly?

Happy Reading!