In her debut novel, DuLong explores the complicated dynamic between mothers and daughters. Her island setting is charming, and each character, from the sensitive, lost widow to her self-centered daughter, is relatable. But the twist at
the end of the book is obvious from the beginning, and readers will have a hard time warming up to the main character's pushy, sometimes rude, love interest.
Evicted from her home after her husband, who was addicted to gambling, dies in a car crash, widow Sydney Webster takes refuge at her friend Alison's bed-and-breakfast on an island off the coast of Florida. She opens a knitting shop, stealing prime real estate from the abrasive yet attractive Noah Hale. Sydney was adopted and is now more curious than ever to find her biological parents, especially since noticing that she bears a striking resemblance to Sybile, the town's resident grump.
With her shop off to a slow start, her relationship with her daughter on the rocks, her love life running her in circles and her desire to find her parents, Sydney is forced to grow up and find happiness, but it's no easy task. (KENSINGTON, Nov., 301 pp., $15.00)