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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2006
A contemporary novel by Susan Wiggs. Set in that most traditional of American institutions, a summer camp for children.

Olivia Bellamy's grandparents own a summer camp set on Willow Lake. It was a family tradition that the children of the large family spend the summer at the camp and in the last year become camp counsellors or guides.

Oliver's parents divorce when she is 11 and in the emotional aftermath she comfort eats and balloons in size. She also wears glasses and braces on her teeth. She remains a teased, plump adolescent until she is 18 and away from home.

When she is 12, she meets Connor Davis at the camp. He is a year older and the son of the camp caretaker who has a drinking problem. His parents are divorced; his mother lives in a trailer and has just remarried to a man who dislikes Connor (and the implication is that he is violent to the boy).

The two children after a prickly start, become friends. Nine years later, Olivia is asked by her grandmother to do a makeover of the now closed, dilapidated camp, ready for her grandparents 50th wedding anniversary, as they were married there and wish to renew their vows. Connor Davis, her first love, is the local town's building contractor and renovator.

Olivia is joined at the camp by her uncle, who has just separated from his wife, his children and some of her other cousins. Also there is Connor's adventurous younger brother. The book explores a series of family relationships and the relationship between Olivia and Connor.

It's a lovely read that really takes you into its setting of the lake and the old holiday camp (think Dirty Dancing). This apparently is the first book in what will become a series of books set at Willow Lake.
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VINE VOICEon 22 March 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although a well written book I struggled with this, there was so much going on and so many characters introduced that I found it difficult to form a bond or relate to any of them. I found out after I'd read the book that this was the first in a series and I wasn't surprised, it was as if there was a conscious effort put in to introducing a large number of characters in order to be able to use them in future novels.

Another personal dislike for me (although I admit not for everyone) is that there was more sex than I like in a novel, from the cover I'd assumed that this would be light hearted romance (I'm a chick lit sort of girl), I don't need things to be in my face or to have sexual innuendo. I know bonk busters sell well so I'm probably in a minority here, it just wasn't I expected
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on 23 June 2013
I started this book with high hopes, however I found the story line ok but the repetition got on my nerves, the constant harping back to times gone by in the same vein was irksome, by cutting the repetition passages out the book would have been two thirds the length I reckon. Unfortunately I purchased the second in the series at the same time and I doubt I will bother to read this issue.

Not a book I would anyone unless they were of the Mills and Book Brigade..
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VINE VOICEon 23 June 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had high expectations of this book even though the only books I have read from this author are her older "historical" romances ones and I remember loving them, however I don't think this matched them.

I expected the story to be a bit more in depth to what it really was.
It starts of with Olivia (Lolly) hating Connor over what happened one summer when she was 17 and years later asking him for help on renovating their old camp.
The story took a while to get started and it consisted of one chapter being the present and the next one being in the past, either back to Olivia's father's past or hers and Connors past.
It just didn't flow right for me...and I really don't know what the point was in having the side story with her father didnt really add anything to the story.
I also think the "wrong" that Connor did to Olivia wasn't explored enough and when you realise what he was a bit silly especially as he didnt have anything to do with it.

It also didnt feel that they had been around each other an entire summer. They seemed to fall in love incredibly quick. Nothing seemed to be explored fully in this and it all happened very quickly without much explanation of things and then ended just as quick.

I do have Just Breathe on my TBR so I reserve full judgement on the author and her contemporary romances until I have read that one. But I didnt really enjoy this one.
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on 3 July 2013
I was needing a change from my mystery books and wanted something to cheer me up-well this was the best I could have picked although im past the age of romance stories so I thought until I read this I could not put it down susan wiggs fairly kept be young and I could not put this book down-so well thought out with all the in and outs of past and present and you keep hoping things will work out in the end -would certainly recommend this to any age as it takes you away from all the depression that is with us now-looking forward to more from susan wiggs
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on 23 March 2014
I have fallen in love with Willow Lake and all it stands for. The author has skillfully created the ideal place for adventures, excitement and families while also catering for those who seek peace and tranquility. The main characters come to life as the story unfolds and I look forward to the next instalment.
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on 19 May 2009
I haven't been a Susan Wiggs reader until recently. This book was so well written I could hardly wait to read the next. Fortunately, several of the stories are in print, and I have sent for them! Clearly, Susan Wiggs has discovered the power of serial stories, and I am delighted with this one. The characters are well drawn, and each one has some struggle or interest that makes him or her sympathetic and real.

I also have really enjoyed envisioning the town, lake and camp.
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on 26 January 2014
Susan Wiggs has written the Lakeshore Chronicles, which I purchased as an easy read. Book 1, found it a good read and wanted to know more about this family and the town they lived in, so have become hooked on the stories, easy to read and want to know more so am up to book 4 now!
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on 13 July 2013
I had such happy memories of camp as a teenager so put this on my Kindle.Olivia leaves her job to try and get the camp owned by the family renovated for her grand-parents anniversary.Lots of twists and turns but a very enjoyable read about an interesting family.I will read another in this series.Monica C.
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on 21 February 2014
I bought a book from a store not realising it was part of a series and book 3!. Loved it so much I have bought several more of the series. Also bought other Susan Wiggs book as I love her style of writing.
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