When Sonnet finds out her mother is unexpectedly expecting, and that the pregnancy is high risk, she puts everything on hold—the job, the fellowship, the boyfriend—and heads home to Avalon. Once her mom is out of danger, Sonnet intends to pick up her life where she left off.
But when her mother receives a devastating diagnosis, Sonnet must decide what really matters in life, even if that means staying in Avalon and taking a job that forces her to work alongside her biggest, and maybe her sweetest, mistake—award-winning filmmaker Zach Alger. So Sonnet embarks on a summer of laughter and tears, of old dreams and new possibilities, and of finding the home of her heart.
Return to Willow Lake is the latest installment in the Lakeshore Chronicles series from Susan Wiggs and follows the story of Sonnet Romano and her relationships with her mother Nina and childhood friend Zach Alger.
The story begins at the wedding of Sonnet's step sister Daisy Bellamy where she bumps into Zach who she hasn't seen for a number of years and who has grown up from the geeky young man he used to be. A drunken encounter with Zach causes Sonnet to panic that they'll no longer be able to resume the easygoing friendship that they used to have.
Fast forward several months and Sonnet is living her dream life in New York with a great new boyfriend Orlando, who also happens to be her father's political campaign manager, and has just won a fellowship to work overseas which she's looking forward to.
However after she receives a phone call from Daisy that worries her, Sonnet decides to return home to visit her mother Nina to find out what's going on. She soon finds out that Nina is pregnant but there's something she's not telling Sonnet and that is that she's also seriously ill. As a result Sonnet decides to stay in Avalon for the summer to support her mother and forego her fellowship, much to her father's disapproval, and gets a job working alongside Zach working for a TV company.
This was an extremely easy and quick book to read and although there was the typical element of romance that you'd expect to find in a Susan Wiggs novel, there's also an underlying message on exploring the importance of what really matters in life.