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July 7, 2024

The Wisdom of the Willow by Nancy Chadwick ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

This beautifully written debut novel is about the connection between family and nature.  It's about the seasons of growth and love and sorrow and how they affect a family.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of women's fiction novel The Wisdom of the Willow by Nancy Chadwick
May 2024; She Writes Press; 978-1647426521
ebook, print (304 pages); women's fiction

When Margaret and Joe Dowling bought their home in the suburbs of Chicago, they planted a willow tree as a symbol of home, belonging, and growth.  In the following years as they raised their four daughters, Margaret often took the girls to sit beneath the willow tree as she shared life lessons with them. Now the daughters are grown and all have their own lives but still return frequently to spend time with their parents.  As the book begins all four sisters are in their forties and they are all facing changes in their lives that will affect their futures.  Debra is facing a divorce.  Rose begins to question herself over why she was unable to be part of a committed relationship over the years.  Linney works in a shop that seems to be full of magic and is important to her neighborhood and she has to face losing the shop.  Charlotte, the youngest, who sees her parents the most frequently, is the daughter that her parents entrust with the secret that their mother has a terminal illness.  Margaret, the mother worries whether she has done enough over the years to help her daughters find their way to happy and fulfilling lives.  Her daughters become suspicious that there is something wrong with their mother's health and when she decides to share her diagnosis with all of her daughters, they are sitting near their beautiful willow tree - now grown tall and strong, just like the four sisters have done.

I love books about sisters and these sisters were all well-written - flaws and all.  Even though they were all facing different challenges and even though they fought with each other, they each knew that their sisters were their biggest supporters and would always be there for each other.

I often highlight sentences in books that touch me.  If I had highlighted those sentences in this book, it would be full of yellow highlights.  The writing is so beautiful and the sentences are so full of meaning that the book has stayed in my mind.  This is a book that should and will be read again.

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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