Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: Mira (Harlequin)
Date of puiblication: April 2013

Tess Delaney makes a living restoring stolen treasures to their rightful owners. People like Annelise Winther, who refuses to sell her long-gone mother's beloved necklace—despite Tess's advice. To Annelise, the jewel's value is in its memories.

But Tess's own history is filled with gaps: a father she never met, a mother who spent more time traveling than with her daughter. So Tess is shocked when she discovers the grandfather she never knew is in a coma. And that she has been named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in the magical Sonoma town called Archangel.

The rest is willed to Isabel Johansen. A half sister she's never heard of.

Susan Wiggs latest book was a wonderful story about family and hidden secrets.  I really enjoyed The Apple Orchard. Tess Delaney has grown up not knowing her father.  She is a successful finder of antiques.  Her life is very busy and she only has her eyes on the next promotion and treasure hunt.  When she finds out she has a whole other family that she never knew, her life is turned upside down. This is one of those books that reminds us all what is really important in life.  That what we really need to do is to stop and smell the roses (or apples) once in a while.  Take a breath and just be.  Tess's time at Bella Vista allows her to do just that.  As she discovers answers, she begins to see there is more to life than work.  

There is not only a great romance (I loved Dominic!).  There is also a mastery.  In order to save the estate, Tess and Isabel must find a lost Faberge egg that belongs to their grandfather.  While the book takes place mostly in the present, we are given glimpses into the past during WWII and the role the older generation played in the resistance.  At first it is hard to see how it will all fit together, but in the end it all wraps up nicely.  There is one twist that that I really liked and made the ending sweeter.

I definitely recommend The Apple Orchard.  I loved the ending and Tess and Dominic's HEA.  I hope that Isabel gets her own story!  

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