Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Can Friendship Inhibit Romance? - "Return to Willow Lake" by Susan Wiggs

Book Description:  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.

My thoughts: Sonnet is a highly accomplished lady.  She is very career and goal oriented.   She is thrown off track when she comes home for her step-sister's wedding and hooks up with her best friend, Zach. He is definitely not part of her plan.  She lives in New York, and he lives in her small home town.  She has a high powered career ahead of her and he photographs weddings.  Plus there is still the overwhelming fact that he is her best friend, and now she can't connect with him the way she once did.

Sonnet's plans change when she finds out that her forty-something mother is expecting another child.  It would be fine it it were just another baby, but there are some major complications that leave Sonnet fearful for her mother's health.  She decides to come home and help her mother out.  This puts her in direct contact with Zach.  She must now figure out where Zach's place in her life is, and where does that leave here perfect boyfriend.

Zach and Sonnet are two likable characters.  They both have some serious issues that make it harder to trust a love interest.  Both have been deeply hurt by those who should love them the most.  Trust is not an easy thing when you have some deep scars.

Susan has a writing style that has great pacing and flow.  I enjoyed reading as she unfolded the story.  I would recommend this book to adults.  There are some intimate moments and some swearing.

This book is set to be released on August 28th.

Q& A with Susan!

* What is your guilty pleasure?*

 I never feel guilty about pleasure! One of my favorite ways to indulge myself is to unplug everything and hole up and spend an entire day reading. Hmm...now I’m tempted....

*Can you see yourself in any of your characters?*

 In all of them, but sometimes the likeness is subtle. In RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE, I’m most like Nina except I’m not facing her challenges. But Sonnet, the main character, shares many traits with me–loyalty, work ethic, insecurity...She’s smarter, thinner, prettier and younger, but I still like her. 

*Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of the characters?*

I make a playlist for every book I write, and they’re all different. Some of the most powerful theme songs for RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE are “This Year” by the Mountain Goats, “The Luckiest” by Ben Folds and “Jar of Hearts” by Christina Perry.

* What was your favorite children's book?*

 It changed with my age. The Carrot Seed by Ruth Kraus is the first book I recall reading on my own, and I can still recite parts of it. Then the Pokey Little Puppy and a Child’s Garden of Verses. The first book I bought with my own money was Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss. I loved Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (do NOT watch the awful movie), Charlotte’s Web, Diary of Ann Frank.

*What book is currently on your nightstand?*

The Anthropologie catalog. Yes, I am that shallow.

* If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing?*

Official Puppy Holder at an animal shelter. 

I received a copy of the book for review.  This is my opinion of the book regardless of the source.

You can pre-order the book, any thing ordered from my Amazon affiliate link helps to support this blog.

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