Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Format: e-book, 486 pages
First line: Moments before the wedding was to begin, Sonnet Romano shuddered with a wave of nervousness.
Summary from Goodreads: Sonnet Romano’s life is almost perfect. She has the ideal career, the ideal boyfriend, and has just been offered a prestigious fellowship. There’s nothing more a woman wants – except maybe a baby…sister? When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high-risk, she puts everything on hold – the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend – and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off. But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even of that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake – award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart. At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Return to Willow Lake plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, the perils and rewards of love, and the true meaning of home. Profoundly emotional and resonant, this is Susan Wiggs at her finest.
My thoughts: This is the 9th book in Susan Wiggs' Lakeshore Chronicles series and I couldn't wait to read it. I was excited when I found out the story was about Sonnet and Zach, best friends since elementary school. I've always loved reading about Sonnet and am glad she has her own book.
At the heart of this story is Sonnet Romano and the various relationships she has in her life. She is a successful, overachieving woman who was raised by her single mom, Nina, and until she was in college, had limited contact with her father. About to embark on a new adventure in her life, she puts everything on hold when she finds out her mother is not only pregnant but has also been dealt a devastating medical diagnosis. Her move back to her small hometown of Avalon gives Sonnet time to reassess not only her career, but many of her relationships as well.
Being back in Avalon puts her in daily contact with Zach, her best friend of always. After a one-night stand the night of her step-sister's wedding, things have been different between them. Now, with Sonnet back in Avalon and taking a job that puts her in direct contact with Zach, she is uncertain what to expect. Can they make things work between them?
What I found interesting in this book, and I'm not certain it's just because I read an advanced copy of the story or not, is that Susan Wiggs never once mentions Daisy's husband's name. In the beginning of the book, which is Daisy's wedding, we are given hints as to who she ends up marrying - and if you read Marrying Daisy Bellamy, you would know. But, if you are like me and read that book when it first came out, you might have forgotten. Even throughout the rest of the book, we are never given the name of Daisy's husband - something I find a bit weird. I now am going to have to get my hands on a completed copy of the book to see if anything changed. This in no way impacts the storyline, I just found it curious...and I'm wondering if anyone else noticed it, too.
Return to Willow Lake is about family and what's really important in life. I love how the book starts and ends with scenes of Sonnet talking to her mom. It's also about second chances and realizing that sometimes what's been right there all along is the right thing. I enjoyed this visit back to Avalon and I hope we have not seen the last of these characters!
I received a complimentary e-copy of Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs from Katie at Little Bird Publicity.
Books in this series:
- Summer at Willow Lake 6. Lakeshore Christmas
- The Winter Lodge 7. The Summer Hideaway
- Dockside 8. Marrying Daisy Bellamy
- Snowfall at Willow Lake 9. Return to Willow Lake