#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs sweeps readers away to a sun-drenched summer on the shores of Willow Lake in a stunning tale of the delicate ties that bind a family together… and the secrets that tear them apart…
When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted, lakeside estate of Avalon's renowned Bellamy family, she's intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice's charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.
The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice's accident, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he's created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.
Beautifully written novel about life and family, finding yourself and your strength, and having the courage to face your fears.
This is not a romance novel, even though there's a thought, at the background, of a romantic love that develops between Faith and Mason. But that doesn't hold the center stage of the story, just a couple percent towards the end of the novel.
But there is lots of love in the story, love between siblings, mother and children, between husband and wife, and friends. The characters are well developed, they all are in somewhat of a crossroads in their lives, trying to find their place, a new meaning for their lives. The road they take is not easy, the pain and hurt from the past catches up, but together they find a way to heal, built a new relationships that were broken, and find a peace within their lives.
The little family that is forming on the Willow Lake, part of the blood, part of the heart, is supportive of each other, they are instruments of the healing for each other, both of their heart and body. Many of them are getting a voice in the story, tell their part with their point of view, adding more nuances and layers to the tale. It is engaging and captivating story from the start, keeping its allure to the end.
This book is part of a series, but can be easily read as a stand alone novel.
This story reminded me of the family saga's I read growing up. There are marriages, death, start of new, there are secrets, and drama, but under all, the main current is the love and respect for each other, and the shared paths in a lifetime. A beautiful, memorable story of life as it happens
~ Four Spoons and a teaspoon on the side
Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See www.fieldsend.org) She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation," and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.
According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable." She is the recipient of three RITA (sm) awards and four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly for her books. The Winter Lodge and Passing Through Paradise have appeared on PW’s annual "Best Of" lists. Several of her books have been listed as top Booksense picks and optioned as feature films. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.
The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. Readers can learn more on the web at www.susanwiggs.com and on her lively blog at www.susanwiggs.wordpress.com.