Title: Willow’s Way
Author: Sharon Struth
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Romance
Willow Armstrong was a successful business woman in the world of weight loss and fitness until it was all suddenly upended following a devastating divorce. In the wake of losing everything she’s built, she learns that she’s willed a home in England from grandparents she’s never known. Now Willow must take a journey of self-discovery to learn the truth about her past as she sets about reclaiming her life.
Sharon Struth writes a heartfelt tale of discovering self-love through the charming narrative that chronicles Willow Armstrong’s path to rediscovering her identity. While this is the second book in The Sweet Life series, it’s easily read as a standalone.
Willow’s Way is reminiscent of what’s lost in modern cinema, lost to the yesteryears and charm of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It’s simplistic and yet hard to turn away from. As Willow discovers her whole life has been a lie with secrets withheld from her late mother, she’s intent on finding out where she comes from and why she’s been left in the dark.
Along the way, she meets the dashingly handsome and charming Owen Hughes, who has ties to the property she’s inherited from her grandparents. The story, while showing its charm, can be repetitive at times. And its simplicity tends to steer into predictability. Ultimately, it has moments of making you feel as if you’ve been here before as the story arc unfolds with a routine plot.
That isn’t to say the plot is without merit as we journey with Willow to the depths of her character. She’s still very relatable and poignant when it speaks to the expectations of women and the appearances society expects them to maintain.
She struggles with her image and wears a mask of false confidence. Many female readers will likely find themselves nodding their heads as they read, feeling that connection with the character. Similarly, Owen Hughes also shares some of these characteristics when dealing with the universal theme of following one’s own path despite the expectations of parents.
Willow’s Way can improve on its sense of familiarity by bringing more unique aspects to the table. However, because of that, those who are new to the genre might find this a great introductory book. The innocence of the story may be refreshing to those who seek the escapism from life and their own hardships. Struth is adept at bringing feeling to the themes introduced in this story that are far more relatable than not. As we get to know the characters, she allows the charm of the narrative to shine through, and it immerses the reader vividly into the story.
Willow’s Way is a book for the romantics at heart who just want to get lost in a story and come out on the other side of it feeling better about themselves. Women will fall in love with Willow’s journey and perhaps learn something about self-love along the way. Sharon Struth definitely succeeds at bringing awareness and emotional depth to the struggles of modern women.
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