August 13, 2019
Blurb: 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.
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
I thought I knew what to expect when I began reading Susan Wiggs’ The Oysterville Sewing Circle, but this novel far, far exceeded my expectations.
At the heart of this emotionally and thoughtfully compelling novel is Caroline Shelby, a creative spirit who discovered at thirteen that she loved to create, particularly to take a swath of material and design garments. Caroline was also the self-described black sheep of her family, the only one who didn’t go into the family restaurant business, the one who capriciously dyed her hair bold colors, the one who inevitably left her small town in Washington State for the designer big leagues of New York City. And the one who returns home with two motherless children and a career in tatters.
Parts of the story are told in flashback and read like a young adult novel as we live with Caroline through some of the events of her teenage years. During those passages we learn how Caroline became best friends with Will and then Sierra. We learn and share Caroline’s heartbreaks. To say that I was frequently moved to tears would be an understatement and I am not one to shed a lot of tears while reading a book.
Another layer exists to this beautiful novel, one in which secrets prevail, and layers of pain that have been hidden are revealed. Where people who are mentors are shown to be opportunists and frequently worse.
No, this novel was not what I expected when I began reading. It was so much better and will stick with me not only because of the heartbreaking dark sides, but because of the amount of love it exudes from Caroline’s amazing family to the two children she brings into her life to a group of women who pull together to stand up for each other.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The Oysterville Sewing Circle will be released on August 13, 2019.
5 out of 5 butterflies