Susan Wiggs






MIRA Hardcover April 2005
Doubleday Large Print hardcover April 2005
Reviewer Sissy Jacobson
Contemporary Romance
TABLE FOR FIVE is the story of five people who are plunged into the depths of grief so deep they think they will never recover, and the love they share that helps them pull through.
The Holloways have it all for a while. Derek Holloway works hard to stay at the top of the PGA circuit. He is wealthy and handsome with a beautiful, vibrant, wife, Crystal, and three children. Cameron, age 15, is doing well in school and seems to be planning to follow in his father’s footsteps in golf; Charlene (Charlie) is in the third grade and understands everything about golf. She’s a crack score-keeper; and then there is Ashley, the two-year-old darling of the family. Yes, they have it all…until the cracks made by Derek’s infidelity split the family wide open ending it with divorce. Now the final break…an automobile accident that kills both Derek and Crystal.
Lily Robinson had only one true friend in her whole life, Crystal Holloway. They were closer than sisters, and Lily was an honorary aunt to the Holloway children. They adore her and she loves them as her own. Crystal had once made Lily promise that if anything happened to her, she would take care of the children.
Sean Maguire, Derek’s half-brother, also a golfer, has just returned to the states after playing the Asian tour for several years, when he receives the tragic phone call. He immediately flies to Comfort, Oregon, to be with the children, only to find Lily already there.
After the funeral, all are shocked when Sean is named guardian of the children in Derek’s will. Crystal had never signed her will after she changed it naming Lily as their guardian. Sean hasn’t a clue how to raise children, but rolls up his sleeves and plunges in, doing the best he can. Lily doesn’t want to seem interfering, yet she doesn’t always agree with Sean’s methods of child rearing. Sean does know one thing: he has to get a job. Derek’s agent pulls a miracle out of the hat and gets Sean started on the PGA tour with Wonder Bread as his sponsor. According to Wiggs, “The truth is, Derek, the elder, was the hard worker, the consistent player. Sean, with more talent but less dedication, always seemed to be in his shadow, but no one was forcing him to stand there.”
Lily surprises them all by driving up in her sister’s R.V. decorated by Wonder Bread, with shirts and caps with the WB logo on them. Can they learn to pull together as a family during this summer road trip in order to help Sean as he begins climbing the ladder in the PGA?
There is no way that one can write about the length of time it takes for people to begin to get over the deaths of loved ones, but Susan Wiggs has used pacing to smoothly begin pulling this made up family of five back onto the road to normalcy.
TABLE FOR FIVE is built around not only the deaths of the parents, and their loved ones left behind to mourn them, but also about golf. It doesn’t matter whether or not you know anything about golf, you will understand the story and the realistic characters and their actions. I only had to call my son once to ask a question about golf so I could write this review with some degree of accuracy. My only warning is have a box of tissues near during the first part of the book.
As usual, Susan Wiggs has written a story filled with characters that touch our hearts and stay with us long after the book has ended.
July 2005



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