Susan Wiggs-Summer At Willow Lake

Olivia Bellamy decides to spend her summer renovating Camp Kioga, the resort camp that has been in the family for over 3 generations. Her grandparents plan to celebrate their 50th anniversary by “renewing their vows” at the camp where they had first met, but since the camp has been closed for the last nine years it needs an “extreme makeover” before it can host such a huge family event. Olivia is reluctant to accept the job at first, because she spent all of her summers growing up there, and they were not happy memories. But after being dumped by her third fiance, she is overwhelmed with the need to get out of Manhattan, and away from her disappointed parents. Returning to Camp Kioga brings back many uncomfortable memories of her childhood growing up an overweight “smart mouthed” kid, with thick glasses and no friends … no friends except for her older cousins, and one very handsome boy who was as unhappy and lonely as she was. His name was Connor Davis, and on Olivia’s very first day back at the old camp, she finds out that he is the only building contractor available in town. Even though she loved Connor growing up, Olivia is not anxious to see him again, because he broke her heart when she was eighteen, the summer before she started college. When Connor arrives at camp to give a renovation estimate, he sees a beautiful, slender blonde, hanging from a flag pole. He doesn’t realize that she is his childhood friend “Lolly”, because Olivia Bellamy has changed quite a lot in the last several years… This story goes back and forth between “present day” camp renovation, and Olivia’s childhood memories of camp, (and a few memories from her parents’ generation), but it does not distract from the story at all. It’s a really good story, and the book was a joy to read from beginning to end. This is one of Susan Wiggs’ best written books, and I find it very similar in style to many of family sagas written by Nora Roberts.

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