Salad Days



The nineties have just come to a close when newly married twenty-somethings Ana and Paul abandon their deep-set roots in Jersey and move out west to Portland, Oregon. Soon after they settle into the sleepy, new city, Ana starts hanging out with Drew, her new boss, a mellow, long-haired skateboarder from So-Cal and the complete opposite in temperament to feisty Paul. Drew and Ana become fast friends. And it’s not long before everything that Ana thought she was building from scratch in a sluggish but thriving new city washes away with the relentless Northwest rains.


Salad Days is about those gravy days when stakes are high, choices are fraught, and your friends are your world. Place is the main character in this book, the 90s indie music scene is a backdrop, and the prose will remind you of your own conflicted and spectacular salad days.

Chloe Caldwell, author of I'll Tell You In Person and Women

Salad Days is the gritty, moving portrait of a young woman who completely upends her life trying to figure out who she is and what she wants, set against the gray, grungy background of Portland, Oregon, at a time when the city was also in flux. Badalamenti perfectly captures the alluring and maddening impenetrability of Portland for the East Coast transplant.

Cari Luna, author of The Revolution of Every Day

Salad Days paints 90's slacker youthdom in Camel Lights smoke and warm beer bottle colors. This captivating novel reminded me how you never fully leave behind that early crew and clubhouse, here a late lamented NJ neighborhood bar/iconic indie rock venue where you made your first stand as the person you would become. Badalamenti nails the details and longings so hard I found myself mourning my uncertain past all over again.

Amy Rigby, author of Girl in a Band: a memoir and former member of The Shams