Table for Five Mass Market Paperback – Jan 31 2012
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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 the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.