Author Terri DuLong offers an appealing while also challenging novel that begins with Sydney Webster, who is a 52-year-old New Englander. Sydney lives with Stephen, her highly successful physician husband of 28 years in the Boston area. Although their marriage isn’t the most romantic or exciting, it is one that is stable and has afforded Sydney the luxury of a comfortable lifestyle that has allowed her freedom to be home and spend her time on her own after raising their now grown daughter, Monica.
All this changes overnight when Stephen dies in a car accident leaving Sydney in shock, but not as much as a few weeks after his funeral when she is served with eviction papers. Sydney is taken totally by surprise when she finds out that Stephen was a compulsive gambler and has left his family with nothing…not even their home! Monica, now in her twenties, at first has no sympathy for her mother because she can’t believe she never knew about this. Monica is angry and hurt, and so Sydney really is left to face this new life on her own. Terri DuLong takes the predicament and weaves a story of new beginnings and old friends. One that is rich in characters and setting.
Sydney decides to seek help and shelter from her old college friend who runs a Bed and Breakfast in Cedar Key, Florida. She must deal with the realization that her life will never be the same as she faces up to what her husband has done to her and what is to become of her life now. Sydney finds the shelter of good friend Allison to be the start of her healing. She has to figure out who she really is now and what she wants from the rest of her life. After Sydney’s hobby of knitting grows to be more and more in demand by the locals, she realizes that spinning wool and knitting may be more than a pastime. She decides to take the risk and start a business doing what she not only is good at but also what she loves.
Her instinct pays off and soon Syd finds herself surrounded by skeins of wool and lots of warm friendships in a close “knit” and loving community; one with interesting, heartfelt characters including her friend Allison, of course, who welcomes Sydney and her dog with open arms, and other interesting inhabitants like Noah, a strikingly handsome artist, and an eerily familiar 80ish-year-old spinster by the name of Sybile Bowden. At the same time, Sydney decides to look for her biological birth mother adding another interesting and intriguing twist to the story. While her business has as many knots as jumbled wool can get, they seem to work out just before all seems lost and things begin to improve.
The relationship between Syd and Noah Hale, the artist, is one that is full of sexual tension and banter and often times exasperating discussions that make the readers want to smack them up side the head…and get their acts together! This is not a relationship that is easy but like anything worthwhile, with patience it shows promising growth. The other major relationship is that of Sydney and Sybile Bowden. Is this someone more than just a somewhat familiar looked octogenarian? Is this someone who is special to both Monica and Syd, even if for a short time? Will long hidden truths be uncovered and is Sydney ready to face them? Does she forge ahead or stay within the safe confines of her comfort zone of soft wool to fall back on?
This may be Terri DuLong’s first novel but it won’t be her last. She is sure to gain legions of followers who love knitting AND a good heartfelt story, peppered with just the right amount of love interest. Her use of the charming little town combined with the secrets of it inhabitants give the story just enough intrigue to keep the reader guessing and pulling for the right ending. Whether the reader gets their wish or not is something you will have to find out by reading SPINNING FORWARD by Terri DuLong.
Thanks to Jeanne Devlin and
Nancy Berland Public Relations
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