Genres: Contemporary Women, Family Life
Published by MIRA Source: NetGalley
August 25th 2015 | Pages: 384
Purchase on Amazon | Add to Goodreads
When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the lakeside estate of her newest client she's intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. She faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued patient, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Alice's charismatic son Mason, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.
I received Starlight on Willow Lake from the publisher via NetGalley. This does not influence my opinions or the content of my review. This review contains affiliate links and is in compliance with FTC guidelines.Susan Wiggs and the residents of the fictional town of Avalon, NY never disappoint me. Starlight on Willow Lake brings us to an idyllic summer of lakeside fun with barbecues, jet skis and canoes as Faith and her daughters settle into the beautiful Bellamy mansion with Alice Bellamy, recently injured in an avalanche and now confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. A caregiver all her life, first to her mother then husband and now professionally, Faith doesn’t blink an eye at Alice’s sharp remarks and defeatist attitude. Faith’s sweet younger daughter Ruby is a great relationship builder, with her inquisitiveness and peppy attitude. When Alice’s son Mason moves into the guest apartment to keep a closer eye on his mother it seems like a family has been created. Both Faith and Mason have unspoken, confused feelings toward each other, Faith uncomfortable with the gap between them socio-economically, Mason ashamed because he is in a relationship with another woman and both feeling awkward with their employer-employee relationship.
I found the information about quadriplegics interesting and enjoyed watching Alice emerge from her grief and depression. I also loved the relationship Faith had with her teenage daughter Ava. Typical in the stomping and resentment, Ava is still able to stop and hug her mother when no one is around, and in her mind she appreciates all Faith tries to do for them, although she is resentful of their lack of resources as a family.
The descriptions of the town of Avalon and Willow Lake make me want to jump in the car, drive to upstate New York and find a small town with a lake where I can buy a cabin, visit the local pub at night and stop in the bakery every morning. Why I can’t do that in my own small town that has all these things I don’t know, it just seems so much better on the printed page.
Starlight on Willow Lake is the eleventh book in the Lakeshore Chronicles but is easily read out of order as all the books in the series can be. Some characters from earlier books pop in to befriend Faith or visit Alice, and it’s nice to see what’s been going on in their lives as well. Readers who are new to Susan Wiggs will find a new go-to author and long time fans will enjoy another visit to Avalon. Starlight on Willow Lake is a wonderful light read, perfect to fit in between the heavier thrillers and dramatic family sagas I’ve been reading lately.