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"I love a woman that knows what she wants." Sydney Webster in the course of nine months in which this novel takes place discovers that she pretty much hasn't a clue of who she is and what she desires. In fact, she can't initially even figure out who desires to know her better and who thinks the world of her. It seems complacency and acquiescence have been the order of the day for years, so much so that when Syd becomes a widow she is devastated by discovering a secret that will change her life so dramatically it is beyond belief.
Her best friend Alison invites her to Cedar Key, a small island off the Florida coast, to temporarily live and heal her wounded spirit. But Ali is a true friend who's not afraid to tell the truth and she begins to encourage Syd to try new things, beginning with a job. Then a quirky trait of Sydney's knitting turns out to be so unique that gradually she begins to receive enough orders that she contemplates opening her own business, albeit with a few accidents that almost threaten to ruin the whole notion.
A series of baiting dialogues occur between Syd and Noah Hale, a middle-aged artist, that are both funny yet filled with tension that makes the reader want to leave the room and slam the door. But there's a looming spark oh so slowly igniting and yearning to be fanned into flames if only each could think before speaking.
But above all the aforementioned normal scenarios lies a relationship that is mysterious at first and then blossoms into something feisty and yet poignant as Sydney begins to realize she is clashing with and growing to care for a woman who just might be very special to Syd and her daughter, Monica - for a very short time!
Spinning Forward is a fun, gracious, anxious, romantic, challenging and finally just plain lovely story that was a delight to enjoy and even think about long after the last page was turned.
Here's to hoping that this is not the last we've heard from Terri Dulong, who has crafted a unique story readers will want to relish and then share with family, good friends and even acquaintances! What an engaging, endearing novel!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on August 31, 2009