Return to Willow Lake

By: Susan Wiggs

Series: The Lakeshore Chronicles

Book Number: 9

Star Rating:

Sensuality Rating:



Spoiler Disclaimer


Everything is falling into place perfectly for Sonnet Romano. She's got a great boyfriend, a great life in the city, a challenging and rewarding career and she's just been chosen for a prestigious fellowship that will take her overseas to continue her dream of working for better lives for children. One little wrinkle - an encounter with an old friend who is NOT the boy she remembered at a wedding - turns into several wrinkles when her mother informs her she's pregnant. But bigger, worse news follows and Sonnet is forced to make choices that take her away from her carefully laid plans and back to the home she loves, but left behind.


This is a poignant book with a heart-wrenching family story and a sweet romance. The relationship between Sonnet and her mother, Nina, is so strong and moving. It's the pulse of this story, with the romance taking a bit of a backseat. The strength Sonnet and Nina gain from one another is well rendered in touching scenes both past and present.

Not that the romance isn't effective. Sonnet is torn regarding her feelings toward her old friend, Zach. He's been her buddy since Kindergarten and he's changed a lot since she's been away. Both of them have. But all the things that brought them together in the first place are still there, and they still matter. It's a lovely romance that grows surprisingly slowly and organically.

I did get a little frustrated with part of the political storyline. I suppose I'm a bit jaded about such things, so, although I appreciated the realism in some parts the wishful thinking coming through in others was, for me, a bit unbelievable. However, Wiggs does portray the shallowness of that lifestyle pretty well. Contrasting that with Sonnet's genuineness, there were times I wanted to shake her when she put up with too much thoughtlessness.

This is a very satisfying read in this genre. Likable leads with a few forgivably shallow characters on the sidelines along with some unforgivably smarmy ones as well. Wiggs brings this story to life with glimpses of the past and vignettes that further the story in an artful and productive way. I will be reading more.

Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

*Reviewed by guest reviewer, Beanbag Love.

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