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Table for Five [Mass Market Paperback]

Susan Wiggs
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Jan. 31 2012
Lily Robinson and Sean McGuire have nothing in common. She guards her independent lifestyle with a ferocity that hides a fear of love and the pain it can bring. He's always been a rolling stone, making his own way. But with the sudden deaths of a couple close to them both, the two become joined in grief and a knowledge that they must step up and care for the three orphaned children.

With little more than hope and dedication, these five embark on a cross-country road trip filled with the ups and downs, the joys and frustrations that make up a family. Along the way, Lily and Sean and these troubled children will discover that even when you've lost everything, love still remains.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Two unlikely guardians and three orphaned children cobble together a family in this tragicomic novel, in which hardship offers everyone an opportunity for positive growth. Incorrigible playboy and former pro golfer Sean Maguire becomes caretaker for his nephew and nieces—teenager Cameron, third-grader Charlie, baby Ashley—when his brother, Derek, and former Miss Oregon USA sister-in-law Crystal die in a freak accident. Drawn into the maternal role—and ultimately Sean's arms—is fiercely independent teacher Lily Robinson, Crystal's longtime best friend. Sean does his loving best with the grief-stricken children (who also suffered through their parents' divorce the year before), but Cameron, full of anger, takes to vandalism; Charlie, suffering a reading problem, refuses to work at it; and Ashley can talk but isn't toilet trained. Shy of intimacy, Lily keeps her distance from Sean, but the family's need overcomes her reserve, and she gives up a summer vacation in Italy to join Sean and the kids on a cross-country tour for his comeback as a professional golfer. On the road, Lily loosens up, Sean settles down and the children begin to heal. Though the happy ending (plus some inconceivable golf shots) strains credibility, Wiggs offers readers a few hours of escape from their more conventional family lives. Agent, Meg Ruley. (Apr.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Lily Robinson is not only the godmother of the Hollway children; she's also their teacher. So when Lily calls in the divorced parents, Crystal (her best friend) and Derek, for a conference, and the two of them are killed on the way home, Lily's grief is exponentially worse because of her guilt. Sean Maguire, Derek's half-brother, is an ex-pro golfer ready for a comeback. Crystal never got around to formalizing her request that Lily take the children in case anything happened to her, and Sean is named as their guardian in the will. But Lily refuses to walk away from her godchildren, so Lily and Sean force themselves to cooperate with each other, an exercise that begins to lead to a grudging respect. Wiggs explores many aspects of grief, from guilt to anger to regret, imbuing her book with the classic would've/could've/should've emotions, and presenting realistic and sympathetic characters. Never maudlin, Wiggs writes with an even hand, thus adding another excellent title to her already-outstanding body of work. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Found it a hard read Feb. 29 2012
By Sourire
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The first 200 pages were really hard to read. Characters go throug grief and the way the accident is depicted is truly horrifying. I had a hard time but then, you really get to know the characters and you feel for them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  75 reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good family drama April 14 2005
By E. Kay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Teacher Lily Robinson is content with her life. Thirty, unwed and unburdened--that's the way she wants her life to be. Suddenly, her best friend meets a tragic end, leaving three orphaned children behind.

Sean Maguire, the childrens' estranged uncle, has now become their guardian. A confirmed bachelor and chronic playboy, Sean is suddenly thrust into the life of a family man. The last thing he needs is a stuffy schoolmarm telling him how to manage things.

Susan Wiggs' novel succeeds in everything it sets out to do. In the beginning, it depresses you. In the middle, it gives a realistic portrayal of children who have lost their parents. And in the end, it warms your heart. Everything wraps up in a perfect bow and leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. I strongly recommend it. 4 1/2 stars.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful .... Sept. 3 2006
By Busy Mom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The only reason why I picked this book up at my hairdresser's is because I wanted to see why readers love Susan Wiggs' books so much. Well, after finishing this book in five hours, I can see why. It's such a wonderful book .... it made me laugh and cry. It made me sigh and it was just wonderful. I couldn't put it down for one minute.

This book focuses on Lily, a school teacher who is content with the way her life is. She is planning to go to Italy for the summer after school's out. Suddenly, her best friend and ex-husband is killed in a car accident, and she finds herself taking care of Crystal's three kids along with Crystal's former brother-in-law, Sean. Sean is a former pro golfer who was kicked out of golf for cheating. Now teaching other people how to golf and bartender at the local golf course, Sean all of a sudden finds himself guardian with three kids, Cameron, a teenager, Charlie, a third-grader and Ashley, the two-year-old. Both Lily and Sean's lives were disrupted by the tragedy and together, they pull the kids through the darkest moments of grief.

It is a wonderful humane story about loss and love, friendship, dreams and hopes. It is a story that takes you to another world where things are still possible ~~ and yes, it is very predictable, but Wiggs make the trip fun anyways. This is a perfect reading for those times when you have a few hours to yourself ~~ and want to relax. She's a good storyteller and one that I plan to keep an eye out for.

9-3-06
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can"t put down book June 6 2005
By ardie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
one of susans best works! its the kind of story you can't put down but don't want it to end either. the cast of characters are funny and poignant. sean and lily's idea of raising these kids are opposite and present some funny scenes. would love to hear this book on audio just to hear some of the dialogue. a must read for anyone who love complex families and how they blend together.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Growth and love spring from tragedy June 1 2005
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Schoolteacher Lily Robinson keeps her heart. Every year, she lets wonderful children into it, and every year, she graduates them out. She won't risk real love, real children of her own--because she can never recover from losing her younger brother. But when her best friend dies, leaving three children, Lily knows that her worst fears have been realized. She can't help loving these children--but their uncle, not Lily, is responsible for their upbringing.

Sean McGuire is a disgraced golfer. Falsely accused of cheating by the Japanese Mafia, Sean has been drummed from the sport he loves. With his brother's death, Sean has plenty to keep him busy--three children are a lot of work--but he knows he needs more. The kids were troubled even before their parents' death, and they're worse now. And giving up his own life for them doesn't seem to offer much help.

After a painfully slow and introspective introduction, author Susan Wiggs picks up the pace with a moving and heartwarming romance. Sean, in particular, is a likable character--he loves children, is drop-dead good looking, golfs like a dream, and always knows just what to say or do. The troubled children, traumatized by their parents' death and by another secret, are realistically drawn--neither too perfect nor horrid but realistically troubled children.

Death of a friend, a brother, and three children's parents is definitely a downer. But Wiggs's heartwarming storytelling and strong writing allows us to see hope and promise for the future coming from this tragic beginning.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing family drama March 30 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In Comfort, Oregon, Laurelhurst private school third grade teacher Lily Robinson enjoys her job, likes her students, and not having any permanent emotional attachments. She holds a conference with the divorced parents of student Charlie Holloway to discuss why the little girl cannot read and how to remedy this. This teacher-parent conference is tougher than usual because the mother is her best friend Crystal and the kids call her "Aunt". The meeting fails as neither Crystal nor her ex husband PGA star Derek can get past their personal needs.

After the meeting, Derek gives Crystal a ride in bad weather when her car fails to start. They argue over his sibling being banned for cheating on the Asian Tour and his upcoming nuptials to Jane Coombs. As his anger rises, Derek loses control and crashes; both die leaving Charlie, her teenage sister Cameron and her younger sibling Ashley orphaned. Derek's brother Sean becomes the guardian of his nieces, but he feels inadequate and besides he has a chance to regain the promising golf career he blew. Lily helps, but also tries to keep the quartet out of her heart. She fails and Derek finds he needs Lily and his three wards; the youngsters need the love and stability provided by both adults.

TABLE FOR FIVE is an intriguing family drama starring two adults who avoid emotional responsibility and three hurting children who were devastated before the deadly car accident. While Sean and Lily carry baggage that make them both feel inept at caring for the kids, the children have woes as manifested by Charlie's reading problems even before his parents die. Susan Wiggs provides a well written four tissue box tear jerker that showcases people in trouble.

Harriet Klausner
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