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 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. 3.5 starsThis was my first Susan Wiggs novel and I liked this one enough to want to check out her other books I appreciate her attempt at exploring some heavy subjects in this story however there were a few things in the book that I felt weren t developed to their potential This has been a common thing with books I have read recently Just because I know early on how it will probably end, I still need to feel like everything unfolds naturally rather than rushed or glossed over Don t get me wrong though this was still a good read.The fashion world might be glamorous but it is also cutthroat, a fact Caroline Shelby is well aware of having worked in the industry for 10 years in New York City She decides to return to her hometown of Oysterville, Washington not only because she is unemployed but also because she has recently become legal guardian of her deceased friend s children and she s going to need the help of her parents and siblings But returning home will mean she will have to face her past, both the good, and the bad Given the size of the town it will be difficult to avoid running into Will Jensen, a friend from her childhood who broke her heart when he married her best friend, Sierra When Caroline decides to form a women s support group, she learns that she s not the only one with a deep secret.There s a lot of heavy subjects in the story like domestic violence, addiction, and sexual assault so I would take a pass on this one if you are just in the mood for a light and breezy read Unfortunately because there was a lot of different things going on , I thought the story as a whole suffered because nothing felt fully developed It s like the story would focus for while on the sewing circle, and then bounce to the whole love triangle thing, then briefly mention the kids I feel like you get to the endpoint and it s not as entirely satisfying as you hoped because many parts of the story just felt glossed over Keeping that in mind, I m not saying this isn t a good book, rather because of these things, it didn t hit the great or awesome mark for me Still recommend especially if you like books about women supporting other women.Thank you to the publisher for sending me an advance copy in exchange for a review Favorite Quotes Since she had left home right out of high school, she had dutifully visited a few times at Christmas That seemed to satisfy the family and also preserved her status as the official black sheep Every family needed a pet, her brother Jackson used to joke.I ve had my heart broken so many times, it s all scar tissue Turns out my perfect husband pulled the oldest trick in the book He took up with an associate at the law firm, plotted a slick exit, and brought my life to a screeching halt She s awful, too one of those phony Christians who claimed she was saving herself for marriage I guess you should have asked whose marriage, His eyes were as blue as her favorite color of gumball As a general rule, she didn t like boys With two younger brothers, she was well aware of their shortcomings Boys were noisy, and they smelled like hamsters, and they had an incomprehensible habit of wearing the same dirty shirt day in and day out until someone made them change.My Review This was a slowly evolving, relatable, and thoughtfully written story in which every woman from most any culture will find something that resonates for her While predominantly fitting the genre of women s fiction, it could also be considered a second chance and small town romance The realistic storylines were easy to follow, highly assessable, relevant, and cast with a wide variety of unique and endearing yet flawed characters The writing was engaging and easy to follow yet slyly emotive and stung my eye sockets several times Susan Wiggs has earned a permanent spot on my list of favorite authors. Caroline never thought she would be returning to her childhood home of Oysterville and definitely not with two children that weren t her own.Caroline had wanted to leave as badly as any young person and head to New York City Caroline did make it big in New York until a famous designer stole her clothing line.Her loss and the death of her friend had Caroline returning with her friend s two children because Caroline had no idea how to take care of a child let alone two.Caroline had a loving, supportive family to help her and ideas on how to help women of domestic abuse since that is what took her friend who left her the two children.We get a glimpse into Caroline s life as a teenager as well as her life now Her teenage years were just as full of love as her adult life with her family.THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE was a sweet, beautiful read with lovable characters and a setting you will want to make your own.If you enjoy sewing, the fashion world, being on a beach setting, learning about running a restaurant, being with loving characters, and seeing women helping other women, THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE will be a wonderful addition to your reading stack.A truly cozy, heartwarming read for readers of women s fiction 5 5This book was given to me by the publisher as an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed The Oysterville Sewing Circle Believe me when I say, it is not what it appears at first glance, and that is by design It handles some pretty heavy topics, primarily domestic abuse, in a way that is easy to take in and not feel overwhelmed by the message This is a story for women, about women and about love, and not just following our passions, but finding them as well It illustrates how our lives are our own, even when they are not This was a great read Caroline Shelby was a rising star in the fashion world, on the cusp of living the dream she sat out to achieve a decade ago However, after a famous designer sabotages her career and her best friend dies, leaving Caroline as guardian to her two children, she s left scrounging for a way forward professionally and personally And while she never thought she s return to her childhood home of Oysterville, her family and old friends might be the only people who can help her navigate the new life thrust upon her But settling into the flow of her former life also means digging up small town ghosts, good and bad.At the start, Caroline is pushing through perhaps the lowest point in her life Author Susan Wiggs expertly navigates these early chapters, raising Caroline as someone on the verge of getting everything she s ever wanted And yet, through no fault of her own, it s all ripped away Between the downward spiral of her career at the hands of a rotten designer and the death of her friend, Angelique, she s forced to change her life This beginning is beautifully understated, with a careful friction placed against Caroline s wants with a massive independent streak, it s not the kind of life she ever anticipated for herself, but she still commits to the two children she s now responsible for, Addie and Flick.Of course, Caroline is the main reason Wiggs s work clicks together Though Wiggs plays with alternating timelines, dragging up complicated relationships, forgotten feelings, and a community in flux, the focus is Caroline Determined and with passion, she drives the action forward and the narrative draws parallels between her previous and current lives really, she becomes two complex characters rolled into one.Wiggs doesn t shy away from difficult topics, including race, immigration, and domestic abuse ultimately, Caroline forms a support group for survivors However, she treads lightly, pulling away from the heaviest details while maintaining her point It s a balancing act, and Wiggs succeeds in showcasing harsh realities without them becoming too overwhelming or sterile.Ultimately, Wiggs has crafted an intimate book with immense heart Most importantly, it feels believable.Note I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.Review also posted at First of all, I won this book from Goodreads So thank you Now on to the review Warning, some minor spoilers ahead I thought this book was decent, but not a great read It was very repetitive and not as deep as I would have liked I think the subject matter domestic abuse, drug abuse, sexual assault is important and am glad Susan Wiggs tackled it, but I wish she d gone deeper I also wish that some of the characters in the book that were in the Sewing Circle abuse victims had been men it happens than people admit I would have loved to see a inclusive and nuanced group of survivors They honestly all felt a bit one dimensional and cliched Plus, this book made it seem like pretty much every woman ever has been a victim of some form of abuse or assault or harassment It wasn t as realistic as it could have been.As for the main story line with the protagonist and the guy she s loved since childhood, I enjoyed the parts that flashed back to their childhood summers, but felt the present day story was lacking and uninspired She makes a ton of bad choices, lets people walk all over her, and then we are supposed to root for her I just found it hard to care about her And he gets over his perfect marriage quite quickly and easily I found myself not really caring if they got together, because it felt like they purposely kept making choices that kept them apart All they had to do was actually talk to each other and say how they felt, but that was apparently too hard for them.Another issue I had was that the kids she basically adopts felt like an afterthought Their story just wasn t fleshed out enough I wanted to know about these kids, to understand what they were going through But it was all a bit too surface, not enough substance All in all, I thought it was a decent read, but it didn t stay with me, and I won t remember much of it in a year. RATING 3.5 STARS2019 William Morrow HarperCollins Canada Review Not on Blog I was interested in knowing about the Oysterville Sewing Circle, and was disappointed how little of it was actually in this novel While waiting on finding out about the OSC, I sort of read the rest of the story in passing I enjoyed this novel but also felt like there was something lacking due to my previous statement I found that Wiggs handled domestic violence well for a lighter book I have been a fan of hers since a friend lent me one of her novels, and I loved her Lakeshore Chronicles so much so I cannot read the last novel in the series, lol I received an eARC from EDELWEISS The Oysterville Sewing Circle is the second of Susan Wiggs books that I have read in the last year and I find myself wondering why I haven t read TOSC was important without being preachy and informative without being textbook like Touching on issues such as domestic violence ranging from date rape to spousal abuse and beyond and addiction, and the wake of destruction that can be found in the aftermath, I found this book taking me on a rollercoaster of emotions and finished the last page saying wow I m a bit surprised looking at reviews that I am in the minority on this, but if you find yourself having similar taste to me, this is one I wholeheartedly recommend Thank you to William Morrow for a review copy All opinions are my own. 4.5 5While 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 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 Thank you, William Morrow Books Find this review and like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books Caroline Shelby left the quaint town of Oysterville, Washington for NYC with the dream of making it big in the fashion industry After ten years of hard work, her career was about to take off when it was sabotaged by her boss She s struggling to get back on her feet when her best friend, Angelique, a beautiful model, comes to her for help After a tragic moment, Caroline finds herself guardian of Angelique s two young children, Addie and Flick To do what is best for the children, Caroline returns to Oysterville to give them the opportunity at the wonderful childhood she experienced Old feelings are reignited when she runs into Will Jensen, her first love He s now married to her childhood best friend, Sierra Caroline had never told Sierra of her feelings for Will Despite being a bit strained, they are able to resume their friendship.Caroline was excited to see Lindy Bloom, the owner of the fabric shop where Caroline was first inspired to design When Lindy reveals a secret she had kept for most of her adult life, Caroline realizes domestic abuse can happen to anyone She decides to form a support group to give women a place to feel safe in sharing their storiesAs Caroline and the children begin the healing process, new possibilities open up in all their lives.A wonderful story of friendship, family and love.
- 384 pages
- The Oysterville Sewing Circle
- Susan Wiggs
- 17 December 2019 Susan Wiggs