STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE by Susan Wiggs: Review

Posted August 25, 2015 in Reviews / 3 Comments

STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE by Susan Wiggs: ReviewStarlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Series: Lakeshore Chronicles #11
Published by MIRA
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women's Fiction
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Format: eARC
Goodreads
Buy Online: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Kobo

Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.

#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.

Review

If you are expecting an epic romance set in an idyllic location, you may want to pass on this book, but if you want to read a poignant and moving story of physical and emotional healing, then this is the story for you. STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE is a great story of healing, both physical and emotional: the mother facing destitution gets a new lease on life and security for her children; the family fractured by both recent events and long-held secrets; the son who always idolized his father forced to keep his father’s indiscretions secret to avoid hurting his mother, with the result being a distance from his family and a distortion of his views of marriage and family and a woman who has already lost so much finding out that most of her marriage may have been a lie, a fresh loss by itself.

Mason Bellamy lost his father to a skiing accident that left his mom a quadriplegic and finding a nurse aide that would stay has been a very difficult thing to do. Mason is willing to pay anything to get his mother the help she needs as long as this would give him the freedom to return to his job in the city and Faith McCallum is the key to achieving that goal. However, Mason’s desire to keep his distance takes a hit when it comes to light that his mother’s most recent mishap at home may have been more than an accident.

Alice Bellamy lost everything when she lost the use of her limbs in the accident and she’s been bitter and angry since then, but the recent information she received may be the last straw for her as everything she believed in appears to be a lie. The arrival of Faith and her daughters may be just the thing to get her mind off her situations as she takes an interest in Faith’s daughters and forms a bond with Faith’s younger daughter and pretty much becomes something of an honorary grandmother to her. 

Faith has spent most of her life in crisis mode, from dealing with her chronically ill mom to her chronically ill husband and the threat of financial ruin almost was too much until the job with the Bellamys. She is just content having a roof over her family’s head and falling for Mason is definitely not a part of the plan, especially because he’s both her employer and also engaged to his girlfriend.

Mason finds himself forging a bond with Faith over his mother’s care and opening up about secrets he’s been keeping for decades. Their easy friendship deepens into something more and both must decide if they are willing to open themselves up to love and everything that comes with it, both good and bad. 

There are so many layers to this story and the simmering tenor of the romance between Faith and Mason fits in very well with the overall tone of the story. What struck me the most was that from all of the losses these people had been through, they formed their own small family, not just based on blood but a family based on love and shared experiences. STARLIGHT ON WILLOW LAKE is definitely a story everyone must read.

 

 

About Susan Wiggs

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.


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