Susan Wiggs is a local author based on Bainbridge Island.

Although the book is pitched as being about survivors of domestic violence, it is more a tale of three kids who grew up and spent summers together in Oysterville, WA. Caroline's parents run the town's most popular restaurant. Will's dad is a Navy SEAL, and he spends his summers with his grandparents. Sierra is a preacher's kid who moves to town.

Caroline has a talent with a needle and design. She aspires to be a high fashion designer in NYC. She fell in love with Will the first time she saw him, but she lacks the courage to put her heart on the line. It was love at first sight for Sierra, and she wasn't so shy. Sierra follows Will to CA and becomes a fashion model. Will follows in his father's footsteps to become a SEAL.

The trio end up back in Oysterville after Caroline's best friend is found dead in her apartment leaving behind two undocumented little kids. Because Caroline accurately intuits that she and the kids aren't safe in NYC, they return to Oysterville which is now home to the married couple, Will and Sierra. Her career is in tatters after her boss steals her designs and blackballs her. Caroline's family embraces and supports her as she stitches the shredded pieces of her life back together again.

Along the way, she forms the Oysterville Sewing Circle as a support group for survivors of domestic violence. Ms. Wiggs does a brilliant job of describing the dynamic with a focus on just how brutal an abusive, powerful, vengeful man can be to the women who are unfortunate to cross his path either personally or professionally.

When she was writing the book, I asked Ms. Wiggs to kick some sand into the eyes of the powerful perpetrator, and she did in a way I didn't see coming. Her husband is a fashion designer, and he inspired much of the book's phenomenal plot which weaves together many of the current issues including #MeToo and undocumented immigrants.

It's a beach book which will stay with you long after the summer ends.

AnneCarolineDrake's rating:
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