I have read many books by Susan Wiggs. In my opinion, this title is different from others, including the Lakeshore Chronicles, that I have read.
This book begins in an engaging way and I was drawn right in. Readers get to know many who live or work on Perdita Street, the location of the author’s book of last year. One of these characters, Margot, is a largely self-made woman who owns her own restaurant. She has carefully chosen its location and is eager for this barbecue restaurant to be a success.
Margot’s restaurant shares a kitchen with a bakery. She therefore gets to know Ida B (yes, like Wells) and her son Jerome. Readers will like both of them.
Readers learn about each of these character’s early years. Margot was very close to her mother but was left on her own too soon. A couple who own a restaurant gave her a start and she ran with it.
Ida B had a love affair when she was a teen. This relationship led to Jerome’s birth. Her backstory will, I think, be a part of the book that will draw readers in. Jerome, is an adult as the story opens. He is a divorced single dad. Will he and Margot get together?
In this novel, I think that Ms. Wiggs had a kind of Jodi Picoult moment as she chose to address some very difficult issues. Some of these have to do with race while one big part of the plot has to do with what happened to Margot, then Margie, at an earlier stage in her life.
A warning and spoiler:
This story was moving along and then a section comes that is about what happened to Margie/Margot when she got involved with a young man in her town. This relationship sours. In this part of the novel, there is graphic sexual and physical violence. Margie’s effort to protect herself with its ramifications and her subsequent experiences in prison may be hard for some to read.
Trigger warning ended.
I found myself engaged with the characters and wanting the best for them. I was hoping for that happy ending as I turned the pages.
Fans of Susan Wiggs will most likely want to read this book. Those who like women’s fiction and are willing to look at hard issues may also enjoy this one.
Many thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub date: 26 July 2022