Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book Review: Summer at Willow Lake

Author: Susan Wiggs 
Title: Summer at Willow Lake
Description (source): Real estate expert Olivia Bellamy reluctantly trades a trendy Manhattan summer for her family's old resort camp in the Catskills, where her primary task will be renovating the bungalow colony for her grandparents, who want one last summer together filled with fun, friends and family. A posh resort in its heyday, the camp is now in disarray and Olivia is forced to hire contractor Connor Davis—a still-smoldering flame from her own summers at camp. But as the days grow warm, not even the inviting blue waters of Willow Lake can cool the passions flaring or keep shocking secrets at bay. The nostalgic joy of summers past breathes new promise into a special place and people…a promise meant to last long after the season ends. (Amazon)
Review source: free for my kindle
Plot: There was lots going on in this book that was first of a series (that now has 8 titles). I counted four romances: the main couple, a couple of friends, a couple of teenagers, and flashbacks of an earlier romance set at the camp. Flashbacks throughout the book reveal the protagonists’ earlier relationship and how it went wrong. I found the various story lines interesting, even though it was a bit much to keep straight. Most of the secondary story lines were not resolved, as the author heads into book 2 of the series.
Characters: Most of the characters come across as sympathetic, especially the heroine, Lolly/Olivia, who was damaged by her parents’ divorce when she was a young adolescent and struggled to keep her footing through her teen years, and Connor, who had his father’s alcoholism and his family’s own breakup to deal with.
Writing style: I tend to like elaborate plots like this one, although I would have liked a little more resolution; while the main couple’s relationship was resolved, none of the other story lines were.
Audience: This book is fairly straightforward chick lit, which I like every once in awhile. I read it in one long, quiet day at the beach.
Wrap-up: I’ll be looking for book two in the series, just to see if any of the plot lines are tied up. But I won’t be looking urgently. This book gets 4/5*.

I'm claiming this book for three reading challenges: the new author challenge (2/15), the unread books challenge, and the Why Buy the Cow challenge (2/12).


  1. Yeah, I probably would have been a bit frustrated to find many of the secondary character's stories unresolved, but that was probably done purposely to move the series to book two.

    Still, sounds like a good find!

  2. I do think it's brilliant of publishers & Amazon to give away the first book of a series on kindle for free. It introduces the reader to a probable new author (I hadn't read her before) and makes it much more likely that I'll continue with the series!