RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE by Susan Wiggs
By SMW Staff
The ninth highly anticipated book in Susan Wiggs’s Lakeshore Chronicles series, RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE, takes readers back to the beloved Catskills town of Avalon and the shores of Willow Lake for a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and to find the real meaning of home.
Sonnet Romano seems to have life figured out. She’s a rising star in her career at UNESCO and is thrilled when she hears that she’s just been awarded the prestigious Hartstone Fellowship, which will send her to work overseas. She’s desperate to make her father, New York senatorial candidate General Laurence Jeffries, proud. After being absent for most of her childhood, he’s back in her life and has high expectations for Sonnet as a future senator’s daughter. Sonnet’s near-perfect boyfriend, Orlando, who is also her father’s trusted—and handsome—campaign manager, is thrilled too. He just gave Sonnet the key to his lovely Upper East Side apartment and for the first time in Sonnet’s life, things seem to be falling perfectly into place.
But Sonnet’s perfect life comes crashing down around her when she finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting and that the pregnancy is high-risk. Like any loving daughter, she puts everything on hold—her job, the fellowship and even her boyfriend—and heads home to Avalon. She can defer the fellowship and take a leave of absence from her job. And Orlando will understand that family comes first, won’t he? Once her mom is out of immediate danger, Sonnet intends to pick things up 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.
Sonnet’s father and boyfriend are shocked when Sonnet finds a new, if temporary, job in Avalon working on a reality TV show that’s filming at old Camp Kioga. To give up the Hartstone Fellowship for a menial job on a reality show? And they don’t know that the job also forces her to work alongside her biggest mistake—award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. Sonnet’s already decided there’s no room in her life for Zach, but he seems to have other ideas.
Meanwhile, General Jeffries’s campaign is heating up and the competition is getting nasty. Rival candidates are using Sonnet and her mother as bait in a character smear. To prove that the general has nothing to hide in his past, the campaign decides Avalon should be the site of the upcoming debate, a prospect that leaves Sonnet panicked. There’s no telling what malicious politicians will do to undermine their opponents, and she’s determined her mother won’t be left in the wake of dirty campaign tactics. But Sonnet’s mother might not be the one who should be worried. Will someone from the campaign dredge up Sonnet’s one real secret?
At once heartbreaking and uplifting, RETURN TO WILLOW LAKE plumbs the deepest corners of the human heart, exploring the bonds of family, and the perils and rewards of love.
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