by Susan Wiggs

August 2006
ISBN: 0-7783-2325-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

Summer at Willow Lake is the newest book by author Susan Wiggs. It is also the first in a trilogy the author is starting. As you read, you will be transported back to the days of sleepover camp, and first love.

Olivia Bellamy is the granddaughter of the founders of Camp Kioga, and spent several summers there as a camper, and eventually a counselor. Olivia never quite felt like she fit in, as she was an overweight child who found comfort in food to deal with emotional issues.

Connor Davis was athletic, handsome, and someone all the girls had a crush on. When he arrived at Camp Kioga, he and Olivia were paired together for the first hike of the year. Neither was thrilled, but out of that hike an unusual friendship was forged, and would continue until they were both counselors.

Now, its years later and Olivia has been asked by her beloved grandmother to restore the campground to its former grandeur for a celebration of her grandparent’s fiftieth anniversary. Olivia thinking she’s about to be engaged at first declines, but when the engagement falls apart, she thinks that spending the summer away will be just what she needs.

Olivia arrives at the campground and not only does she start restoring the buildings, but she also starts restoring her faith and belief in love. Several of her cousins and one uncle arrive to help with the restoration, but they need a contractor. The contractor turns out to be Connor, and Olivia is left with no choice but to face her past, and see how it has affected her present.

The summer will be one that uncovers many secrets, and restores old loves. I read this book with an enthusiasm I have not had for many this reading year. I turned the last page and almost cried at the fact I have to wait until early 2007 for the next installment. I believe that Summer at Willow Lake will make many readers remember the days of innocence and it will find its way to their keeper shelves.

Reviewed in July 2006 by Sandi.

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