Return to Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Susan Wiggs is my go-to author when I need a lift. I'd been feeling a bit under the weather for the past week so I scooped up Return to Willow Lake, her latest in the Lakeshore Chronicles series. You can tell from the majority of my blog posts that romance is my favorite genre, but Return to Willow Lake is so much more than just a romance novel. This is a book about family and what's really important in life. Sonnet Romano has always been an overachiever. She works in New York at a worldwide agency that helps underprivileged children. Raised by her single mother and an absent, overachieving father, she has always shaped her life for his approval. Within days of receiving what is probably the biggest personal news of her life - being chosen for a prestigious fellowship that would take her overseas for two years - her mother informs her she is not only pregnant but has also been diagnosed with breast cancer. Without giving it a second thought, Sonnet turns down the fellowship and heads home to Avalon to be with her mother. Waiting there for her is Zach Alger, her childhood friend who she has been avoiding since their unexpected moment of passion at her sister's wedding the summer before. As the story develops, the author does an excellent job of painting the relationship between Sonnet and her mother, birth father and those around her. As I said previously, this is not just a romance novel. It explores issues like high-risk pregnancy, cancer, blended families, and about listening to your heart and finding the path you were meant to be on.