Title: Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Lakeshore Chronicles Book Nine
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Women’s Fiction
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Chronicles series has captivated thousands of readers with its relatable characters, warm humor and engaging stories. Now, with Return to Willow Lake, readers can enjoy a new chapter in the lives of the beloved characters of Willow Lake.
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…brother?
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 if 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.
Don’t miss a single tale in the Lakeshore Chronicles series–read the book that started it all, Summer at Willow Lake.
Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs is a beautifully written and engrossing novel. At the heart of this thought-provoking and emotional story is Sonnet Romano and the various relationships in her life.
Sonnet Romano is a successful, overachieving young woman. Raised by her single mother, Nina, they share a close relationship. The news that her mother is pregnant is shocking, but Sonnet is excited about the upcoming birth. It is her mother’s devastating diagnosis that rocks her world and she willingly puts her life on hold to support her mother. Her move back to her small hometown of Avalon brings Sonnet to reassess not only her career, but many of her relationships as well.
Sonnet’s relationship with her dad, Senate candidate Laurence Jeffries is complicated. An absentee father for most of her childhood, they reconnected after Sonnet reached adulthood. Laurence is charismatic and compelling, and in an effort to win his approval, Sonnet relies heavily on his advice in her career and her love life. But as she soon discovers, his affection is not unconditional and his motives are sometimes self-serving.
Sonnet’s burgeoning relationship with Orlando Rivera is in its early days but he is tries to be supportive of her decision to return to Avalon. Introduced to Sonnet by her father, Orlando is also successful and very career driven. But will his position as her father’s campaign manager come between them?
Sonnet’s relationship with Zach Alger is a longstanding friendship forged from their early days in kindergarten. Zach is her closest friend, and she shares with him all the good and bad in her life. Their once close relationship has recently become a bit distant, but as always, Zach remains Sonnet’s steady rock and staunchest ally.
While there is romance in Return to Willow Lake it is incidental to main storyline. The novel spans several months and Sonnet’s realizations about her life and relationships are gradual. As is often the case, with distance comes clarity, and it takes some time for Sonnet to clearly see the impact she has allowed her father to have on her life.
Return to Willow Lake is an incredibly touching and heartwarming novel. The characters and setting are quite appealing and the overall story is engaging. Susan Wiggs delivers yet another entertaining story and I love how she resolves the various plot points and story arcs.
While part of a series, Return to Willow Lake can be read as a standalone novel.