THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE by Susan Wiggs

THE OYSTERVILLE SEWING CIRCLE

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

After facing tragedy and betrayal in New York, an aspiring fashion designer escapes to her idyllic Pacific coast hometown to raise her best friend’s two young children and finds inspiration, redemption, and love in the unexpected journey.

Caroline Shelby always dreamed of leaving tiny Oysterville, Washington, and becoming a couturier. After years of toil, she finally has a big break only to discover a famous designer has stolen her launch line. When she accuses him, he blackballs her, so she’s already struggling when her best friend, Angelique, a renowned model from Haiti whose work visa has expired, shows up on her doorstep with her two biracial children, running from an abusive partner she won’t identify. When Angelique dies of a drug overdose, Caroline takes custody of the kids and flees back to her hometown. She reconnects with her sprawling family and with Will and Sierra Jensen, who were once her best friends, though their relationships have grown more complicated since Will and Sierra married. Caroline feels guilty that she didn’t realize Angelique was abused and tries to make a difference when she discovers that people she knows in Oysterville are also victims of domestic violence. She creates a support group that becomes a welcome source of professional assistance when some designs she works on for the kids garner local interest that grows regional, then national. Meanwhile, restless Sierra pursues her own dreams, leading to Will and Caroline’s exploring some unresolved feelings. Wiggs’ latest is part revenge fantasy and part romantic fairy tale, and while some details feel too smooth—how fortunate that every person in the circle has some helpful occupation that benefits Caroline's business—Caroline has a challenging road, and she rises to it with compassion and resilience. Timelines alternating among the present and past, both recent and long ago, add tension and depth to a complex narrative that touches on the abuse of power toward women and the extra-high stakes when the women involved are undocumented. Finally, Wiggs writes about the children’s race and immigration status with a soft touch that feels natural and easygoing but that might seem unrealistic to some readers.

A lovely read—entertaining, poignant, and meaningful.

Pub Date: Aug. 13th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-242558-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2019




MORE BY SUSAN WIGGS

FictionFAMILY TREE by Susan Wiggs
by Susan Wiggs
FictionTHE BEEKEEPER'S BALL by Susan Wiggs
by Susan Wiggs
FictionCANDLELIGHT CHRISTMAS by Susan Wiggs
by Susan Wiggs

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionMAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
FictionNOW THAT YOU MENTION IT by Kristan Higgins
by Kristan Higgins