Published by William Morrow on August 13, 2019
Source: the publisher
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“Stitched together with love, this is a story just waiting for your favorite reading chair. With her signature style and skill, Susan Wiggs delivers an intricate patchwork of old wounds and new beginnings, romance and the healing power of friendship, wrapped in a lovely little community that’s hiding a few secrets of its own.”
— Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
The #1 New York Times bestselling author brings us her most ambitious and provocative work yet—a searing and timely novel that explores the most volatile issue of our time—domestic violence.
At the break of dawn, Caroline Shelby rolls into Oysterville, Washington, a tiny hamlet at the edge of the raging Pacific.
She’s come home.
Home to a place she thought she’d left forever, home of her heart and memories, but not her future. Ten years ago, Caroline launched a career in the glamorous fashion world of Manhattan. But her success in New York imploded on a wave of scandal and tragedy, forcing her to flee to the only safe place she knows.
And in the backseat of Caroline’s car are two children who were orphaned in a single chilling moment—five-year-old Addie and six-year-old Flick. She’s now their legal guardian—a role she’s not sure she’s ready for.
But the Oysterville she left behind has changed. Her siblings have their own complicated lives and her aging parents are hoping to pass on their thriving seafood restaurant to the next generation. And there’s Will Jensen, a decorated Navy SEAL who’s also returned home after being wounded overseas. Will and Caroline were forever friends as children, with the promise of something more . . . until he fell in love with Sierra, Caroline’s best friend and the most beautiful girl in town. With her modeling jobs drying up, Sierra, too, is on the cusp of reinventing herself.
Caroline returns to her favorite place: the sewing shop owned by Mrs. Lindy Bloom, the woman who inspired her and taught her to sew. There she discovers that even in an idyllic beach town, there are women living with the deepest of secrets. Thus begins the Oysterville Sewing Circle—where women can join forces to support each other through the troubles they keep hidden.
Yet just as Caroline regains her creativity and fighting spirit, and the children begin to heal from their loss, an unexpected challenge tests her courage and her heart. This time, though, Caroline is not going to run away. She’s going to stand and fight for everything—and everyone—she loves.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs has been a great distraction for me while I wait for Hurricane Dorian to get here. I loved this one like I love her other stories. Susan Wiggs is a total auto-read author for me.
While I was reading, I kept thinking about how this is a story about change. Major life circumstances push Caroline Shelby to both leave her beloved job as a fashion designer in New York City and move back home to her parent’s house in tiny Oysterville, Washington. She has one of her best friend’s children with her after a quick and necessary decision to become their legal guardian. Caroline has no experience with parenting, but she is certain that she wants 5-year-old Addie and 6-year-old Flick to feel loved and safe. Her parents and siblings open their hearts and arms to Caroline and the kids, and the three of them start healing process that comes with great losses.
There are a lot of things going on in this story. Major career change, moving across the country, new parenting issues, and domestic violence all pop up on these pages. All of that sounds really heavy, but I didn’t feel heavy when I closed the book. Yes there is some heartache, but many of the characters gain confidence and strength as they make changes to their life, and I loved seeing good things happen to all of these characters.
The book is called The Oysterville Sewing Circle because Caroline sees a need for a support group for women that are or have been victims of domestic violence, and this is what she calls it. I won’t tell you why or how they decided on that name (very cool!) but I’ll say that I wasn’t sure how this group would work when Caroline sat waiting for women to show up at the first meeting. It took no time at all for the women in the group to win my heart, and I love every single thing that they brought to the table. They all played pivotal roles in Caroline’s life, and in the lives of Addie and Flick.
I trust Susan Wiggs so completely when I sit down with her stories. It doesn’t matter what the themes may be, I always find them to be some of my most enjoyable reads. She is so great at characterization. I felt like I could see and hear each of these characters perfectly based on how she wrote them into the narrative. I also love her setting choices. Small, waterfront towns are always some of my favorite settings.
Addie is such a great example of strength and stepping up to do something that is hard in her desire to raise these children as her own. I love that she takes them to her home immediately, because she has such a good, supportive family and it is clear that they’ll likely be able to help provide the safety and security to these young kids. I loved watching the kids open up to their new life, in their new environment, which was totally opposite from the hustle and bustle of New York City. In Oysterville, Addie and Flick were able to experience the ocean, a yard in which to play, home cooking, and a huge network of people that they could trust.
I felt astounded at the decisions that Caroline has to make in terms of parenting and putting the kids first, and I love that the story shows that decisions involving kids often are not very glamorous and require tons of sacrifice.
There is a romance in the story and it comes with complications. I think it added so much to the story and while I was gritting my teeth and crossing my fingers for a while over this relationship, I did end up very happy at the end.
I always love spending my time in the pages of Ms. Wiggs’ stories, and every time I finish one, I can’t wait until I get the chance to pick up another one. I still think Between You and Me is my favorite by Ms. Wiggs, but they’re all so good. Readers that love stories about women making big decisions and women supporting other women will probably love this one. It’s such a great story; so sweet and full of hope.