Sunday, December 30, 2007

Snowfall at Willow Lake-Susan Wiggs

Snowfall at Willow Lake
Susan Wiggs
Mira, Feb 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778324935

Fortyish international Attorney Sophie Bellamy has always wanted to help the less fortunate and has been successful at it. However, the cost of spending much of her life overseas has been personal; her marriage to Greg died and her relationships with her two children, twelve year old Max and New Paltz College student Daisy are dysfunctional and distant at best. The same holds true with her grandchild Charlie.

Following a nasty hostage misadventure at the Hague involving her work with the depressed people of Umoja in Africa, Sophie has come to wintry Avalon, New York to make amends with her offspring, which means getting on with her former spouse, his new wife Nina and her offspring (see DOCKSIDE for Greg’s tale). However, the first person she meets after the lake effect snow and ice caused her car to skid and crash is Dr. Noah Shepherd, a veterinarian. Sophie is attracted to him, but she did not come to Ulster County for romance; she came a second chance with her children; not understanding that a second chance with Max and Daisy can only come with Noah.

The Avalon Lakeshore Chronicles (see THE WINTER LODGE and SUMMER AT WILLOW LAKE) are always terrific family drama romances, but SNOWFALL AT WILLOW LAKE may be the best yet due to the complexity of the relationships. Sophie is an incredible lead protagonist who has given her heart to the less fortunate children in places like Africa’s Umoja, but has failed to connect with her children in Avalon as she has tried to protect them by excluding them from the horror she has witnessed. Fans of the series will fully appreciate this strong tale while newcomers will relish how inside a romance talented Susan Wiggs reminds her readers that many children around the world suffer needlessly.

Harriet Klausner

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