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Return to Willow Lake (The Lakeshore Chronicles) Hardcover – August 28, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 295 customer reviews
Book 9 of 11 in the Lakeshore Chronicles Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With the ease of a master, Wiggs introduces complicated, flesh-and-blood characters into her idyllic but identifiable small town setting..."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review on The Winter Lodge (Best Books of 2007 selection)

"Susan Wiggs paints the details of human relationships with the finesse of a master."

-Jodi Picoult

"Wiggs's storytelling is heartwarming... clutter free... [for] romance and women's fiction readers of any age."

--Publishers Weekly

"Wiggs's talent is reflected in her thoroughly believable characters as well as the way she recognizes the importance of family by blood or other ties."

--Library Journal

"Susan Wiggs writes with bright assurance, humor and compassion."

--Luanne Rice

"Empathetic protagonists, interesting secondary characters, well-written flashbacks, and delicious recipes add depth to this touching, complex romance..."

--Library Journal on The Winter Lodge

"Emotionally intense."

Booklist on The Winter Lodge

"Wiggs is at the top of her game here, combining a charming setting with subtly shaded characters and more than a touch of humor. This is the kind of book a reader doesn't want to see end but can't help devouring as quickly as possible."

--RT Book Reviews [Top Pick] on Snowfall at Willow Lake

"Rich with life lessons, nod-along moments and characters with whom readers can easily relate.... Delightful and wise, Wiggs's latest shines."

--Publishers Weekly on Dockside

"Wonderfully evoked characters, a spellbinding story line, and insights into the human condition will appeal to every reader."

--Booklist on Summer at Willow Lake

About the Author

Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA from Romance Writers of America. Visit her website at www.SusanWiggs.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Lakeshore Chronicles (Book 9)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin MIRA; First Edition edition (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778313840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778313847
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #967,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Smitten with Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My Review:

This is the first Susan Wiggs book that I've ever read. I know, right? She was a huge romance writer when I was working in the bookstore 20 years ago. I can't believe it's taken me this long to pick up one of her books. But this book is so much more than just a romance novel. This is a book about family and what's really important in life. Just to put it in perspective, the book starts and ends with scenes of Sonnet talking to her mom...not scenes with Zach, although he definitely still plays a big part in the book.

For Sonnet, she doesn't realize it, but her life is at a crossroads. She's had an interesting life that has shaped her into an overachiever. Raised by her single mother and an absent, overachieving father, she has always shaped her life for his approval. She works in NYC at a worldwide agency that helps under-priviledged children. Children are her passion and although the job doesn't put her in direct contact with the children as much she's still convinced herself that she's doing good for them and that's good enough. She has an amazing boyfriend who is her father's senate campaign manager. They met through her father and although they don't have passion, she feels that they are a good match.

When she goes home to attend her step-sister's wedding, she sees her childhood best friend, Zach. They've been best friends since kindergarten although they haven't seen each other in years. In an after-wedding tryst, everything between them changes and not for the better...at least not for the first few months afterwards.

Honestly, I would probably classify this book as women's fiction rather than romance. Yes, there is a romantic element to it and it's a beautiful romantic story, but I did't feel like it was the main bulk of the story.
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Format: Hardcover
I am giving this book 3-stars. Not because it wasn't really good. It was. Not because it wasn't well written. It was wonderfully written. By all rights based on enjoyment and connection with the story this should be a 4-star or higher book.

But it isn't. And it is because the romance in this book was almost non-existent.

Sonnet Romano, daughter of Nina (heroine of earlier Willow Lake book Dockside (The Lakeshore Chronicles)), is feeling a bit blue after her best friend Daisy has gotten married. By all rights her life should be perfect. She is connecting with her estranged father, she has a great new boyfriend and she has just learned that she's won a prestigious fellowship. And yet, all that seems bland in light of Daisy's happiness at her wedding. Prodded by her post-wedding glow mood and a bunch of jell-o shots, Sonnet has sex with her best friend Zach, now a hot and handsome videographer.

The next day she realizes it was a colossal mistake and runs back to New York, determined to move on with her life. Except she is dragged back home by some devastating news.

Here's the thing...I have been reading the Willow lake series since forever. It is a romance series. Well, it was a romance series. And therein lies my problem. You start out reading a series that is romance and the somewhere along the way it becomes less about romance and more about the inner struggles of the heroine. You get a serious sense of disconnect. I noticed this first with the preceding book in this series,
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Format: Hardcover
My review:

Return to Willow Lake was a first Susan Wiggs' book I have read and I liked it! It was well written, emotional and heart-warming. Reading Return to Willow Lake was like coming home - it was safe, comforting and created lots of great feelings. The novel is a standalone part of her Lakeshore Chronicles.

Plot:

Sonnet is a young woman whose life is filled with possibilities- her UNESCO career has just rocketed with the opportunity of lifetime of getting a world known fellowship, she has a boyfriend who is responsible and supportive, she has established a relationship with her dad. Everything seems so nice and safe.

When Sonnet is visiting her home town Avalon for her best friend's wedding, she reconnects with her best friend from her childhood and school time - Zach. Zach has grown into a gorgeous young man who lives in Avalon and making living of filming and making videos. Zach is quite successful at what he is doing and has no intentions of leaving Avalon - until the day he meets Sonnet again during the wedding.

After an amazing adventure together during the wedding night, Sonnet flees back to her life in New York and tries to forget the night with Zach by convincing herself, that they can't be friends again. She pushes Zach out of her life again to concentrate to her career and tighten the contacts with her dad. Sonnet's dad is a man with military background who is running for the Senate and is preparing for the elections.

During the same time Sonnet get the approval for fellowship to travel abroad, she gets bad news regarding her mother back home in Avalon.

Everything changes and what seemed comfortable, nice and safe is not valid anymore.
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