Date: 25th August 2015
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
We've reached #11 in the Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs with Starlight on Willow Lake. I've enjoyed every one of them, including this one. I've tended to think of this series as contemporary romance, but Starlight I think falls more into the women's fiction realm, as the emphasis is on the growth of two women and two girls. Yes there is some heartwarming romance, but its not centre stage.
Faith is in her mid-thirties, she is a struggling widow with two girls, Cara a teen and Ruby a second grader with diabetes. At a crucial time, Faith lands a job with Alice Bellamy in her beautiful house beside Willow Lake in Avalon. Alice is a quadriplegic and Faith is a nurse. Faith is the right person for Alice, she is a straight talking, perceptive carer who will trigger many a ripple in the Bellamy household. Alice's sharp commands are ably countered by Faith, her experience and ability not to get hooked by Alice's anger and dejection are just what Alice needs.
Alice is also a widow and lost her husband in the same misadventure that she was badly injured in by an avalanche in New Zealand. Now she moves about in a wheel chair that she blows into so she can move about. She has been a keen athlete in the past and being in a wheelchair now is not easy for her. She thought she had a rock solid marriage but she has just been shaken up by a letter that has arrived from France.
Cara and Ruby are both delightful and there presence calls out the best in Alice. She finds herself challenging the girls and in doing so meets many a challenge herself. Ruby has so many fears, yet by the time the story is told so many of them have been faced.
Mason her son is persuaded by Faith to return to the house by the lake from Manhattan because she believes it is essential for Alice to have his support. He has an almost fiance, but as time goes by and as more of the weeks pass, perhaps Alice knows more than he does about affairs of the heart.
I loved the characters, all the little details and warmth of family. The struggle and courage of both Faith and Alice to overcome what life has thrown at them. There is a theme of hope, love and living fully, and delighting in the talents and gifts given.
While this is part of a series, it can very easily read as a stand alone book.
Susan Wiggs has woven her magic again. Sigh of satisfaction!