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Table for Five Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Mira; Reissue edition (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778313824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778313823
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #892,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two unlikely guardians and three orphaned children cobble together a family in this tragicomic novel, in which hardship offers everyone an opportunity for positive growth. Incorrigible playboy and former pro golfer Sean Maguire becomes caretaker for his nephew and nieces—teenager Cameron, third-grader Charlie, baby Ashley—when his brother, Derek, and former Miss Oregon USA sister-in-law Crystal die in a freak accident. Drawn into the maternal role—and ultimately Sean's arms—is fiercely independent teacher Lily Robinson, Crystal's longtime best friend. Sean does his loving best with the grief-stricken children (who also suffered through their parents' divorce the year before), but Cameron, full of anger, takes to vandalism; Charlie, suffering a reading problem, refuses to work at it; and Ashley can talk but isn't toilet trained. Shy of intimacy, Lily keeps her distance from Sean, but the family's need overcomes her reserve, and she gives up a summer vacation in Italy to join Sean and the kids on a cross-country tour for his comeback as a professional golfer. On the road, Lily loosens up, Sean settles down and the children begin to heal. Though the happy ending (plus some inconceivable golf shots) strains credibility, Wiggs offers readers a few hours of escape from their more conventional family lives. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Apr.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Lily Robinson is not only the godmother of the Hollway children; she's also their teacher. So when Lily calls in the divorced parents, Crystal (her best friend) and Derek, for a conference, and the two of them are killed on the way home, Lily's grief is exponentially worse because of her guilt. Sean Maguire, Derek's half-brother, is an ex-pro golfer ready for a comeback. Crystal never got around to formalizing her request that Lily take the children in case anything happened to her, and Sean is named as their guardian in the will. But Lily refuses to walk away from her godchildren, so Lily and Sean force themselves to cooperate with each other, an exercise that begins to lead to a grudging respect. Wiggs explores many aspects of grief, from guilt to anger to regret, imbuing her book with the classic would've/could've/should've emotions, and presenting realistic and sympathetic characters. Never maudlin, Wiggs writes with an even hand, thus adding another excellent title to her already-outstanding body of work. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I was very sad to see this book come to an end.
Tonia Fagans
A very heartwarming story....light reading .... but the plot was very believable and kept me interested all the way through.
Mary May
Susan Wigg's books are so real I always feel that I am living the life of one of the characters.
Barbara J. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. Kay VINE VOICE on April 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Teacher Lily Robinson is content with her life. Thirty, unwed and unburdened--that's the way she wants her life to be. Suddenly, her best friend meets a tragic end, leaving three orphaned children behind.

Sean Maguire, the childrens' estranged uncle, has now become their guardian. A confirmed bachelor and chronic playboy, Sean is suddenly thrust into the life of a family man. The last thing he needs is a stuffy schoolmarm telling him how to manage things.

Susan Wiggs' novel succeeds in everything it sets out to do. In the beginning, it depresses you. In the middle, it gives a realistic portrayal of children who have lost their parents. And in the end, it warms your heart. Everything wraps up in a perfect bow and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I strongly recommend it. 4 1/2 stars.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Busy Mom VINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The only reason why I picked this book up at my hairdresser's is because I wanted to see why readers love Susan Wiggs' books so much. Well, after finishing this book in five hours, I can see why. It's such a wonderful book .... it made me laugh and cry. It made me sigh and it was just wonderful. I couldn't put it down for one minute.

This book focuses on Lily, a school teacher who is content with the way her life is. She is planning to go to Italy for the summer after school's out. Suddenly, her best friend and ex-husband is killed in a car accident, and she finds herself taking care of Crystal's three kids along with Crystal's former brother-in-law, Sean. Sean is a former pro golfer who was kicked out of golf for cheating. Now teaching other people how to golf and bartender at the local golf course, Sean all of a sudden finds himself guardian with three kids, Cameron, a teenager, Charlie, a third-grader and Ashley, the two-year-old. Both Lily and Sean's lives were disrupted by the tragedy and together, they pull the kids through the darkest moments of grief.

It is a wonderful humane story about loss and love, friendship, dreams and hopes. It is a story that takes you to another world where things are still possible ~~ and yes, it is very predictable, but Wiggs make the trip fun anyways. This is a perfect reading for those times when you have a few hours to yourself ~~ and want to relax. She's a good storyteller and one that I plan to keep an eye out for.

9-3-06
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ardie on June 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
one of susans best works! its the kind of story you can't put down but don't want it to end either. the cast of characters are funny and poignant. sean and lily's idea of raising these kids are opposite and present some funny scenes. would love to hear this book on audio just to hear some of the dialogue. a must read for anyone who love complex families and how they blend together.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By booksforabuck VINE VOICE on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Schoolteacher Lily Robinson keeps her heart. Every year, she lets wonderful children into it, and every year, she graduates them out. She won't risk real love, real children of her own--because she can never recover from losing her younger brother. But when her best friend dies, leaving three children, Lily knows that her worst fears have been realized. She can't help loving these children--but their uncle, not Lily, is responsible for their upbringing.

Sean McGuire is a disgraced golfer. Falsely accused of cheating by the Japanese Mafia, Sean has been drummed from the sport he loves. With his brother's death, Sean has plenty to keep him busy--three children are a lot of work--but he knows he needs more. The kids were troubled even before their parents' death, and they're worse now. And giving up his own life for them doesn't seem to offer much help.

After a painfully slow and introspective introduction, author Susan Wiggs picks up the pace with a moving and heartwarming romance. Sean, in particular, is a likable character--he loves children, is drop-dead good looking, golfs like a dream, and always knows just what to say or do. The troubled children, traumatized by their parents' death and by another secret, are realistically drawn--neither too perfect nor horrid but realistically troubled children.

Death of a friend, a brother, and three children's parents is definitely a downer. But Wiggs's heartwarming storytelling and strong writing allows us to see hope and promise for the future coming from this tragic beginning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In Comfort, Oregon, Laurelhurst private school third grade teacher Lily Robinson enjoys her job, likes her students, and not having any permanent emotional attachments. She holds a conference with the divorced parents of student Charlie Holloway to discuss why the little girl cannot read and how to remedy this. This teacher-parent conference is tougher than usual because the mother is her best friend Crystal and the kids call her "Aunt". The meeting fails as neither Crystal nor her ex husband PGA star Derek can get past their personal needs.

After the meeting, Derek gives Crystal a ride in bad weather when her car fails to start. They argue over his sibling being banned for cheating on the Asian Tour and his upcoming nuptials to Jane Coombs. As his anger rises, Derek loses control and crashes; both die leaving Charlie, her teenage sister Cameron and her younger sibling Ashley orphaned. Derek's brother Sean becomes the guardian of his nieces, but he feels inadequate and besides he has a chance to regain the promising golf career he blew. Lily helps, but also tries to keep the quartet out of her heart. She fails and Derek finds he needs Lily and his three wards; the youngsters need the love and stability provided by both adults.

TABLE FOR FIVE is an intriguing family drama starring two adults who avoid emotional responsibility and three hurting children who were devastated before the deadly car accident. While Sean and Lily carry baggage that make them both feel inept at caring for the kids, the children have woes as manifested by Charlie's reading problems even before his parents die. Susan Wiggs provides a well written four tissue box tear jerker that showcases people in trouble.

Harriet Klausner
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More About the Author

Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's Talk of the Nation, and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. At the age of eight, she self-published her first novel, entitled "A Book About Some Bad Kids."

Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries. Her recent novel, Marrying Daisy Bellamy, took the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and The Lakeshore Chronicles have won readers' hearts around the globe. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature.

She lives with her husband and family at the water's edge on an island in the Pacific Northwest, where she divides her time between sleeping and waking.

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