Casting About

Casting About

4.5 11
by Terri DuLong

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In this beautifully crafted and uplifting novel, the author of the acclaimed Spinning Forward welcomes readers back to the lush Florida island of Cedar Key, where the vibrant shades of hibiscus and azaleas are the perfect backdrop to a colorful, quirky community. . .

In the four years since Monica Brooks moved to Cedar Key, she's found a home, a


In this beautifully crafted and uplifting novel, the author of the acclaimed Spinning Forward welcomes readers back to the lush Florida island of Cedar Key, where the vibrant shades of hibiscus and azaleas are the perfect backdrop to a colorful, quirky community. . .

In the four years since Monica Brooks moved to Cedar Key, she's found a home, a husband, and now a business to love. Taking over her mother's bustling knitting shop is a welcome challenge, but Monica's exciting plans are waylaid by unexpected news. Her husband's ex-wife has been deemed an unfit mother, and custody of their eight-year-old daughter, Clarissa, is to be transferred to Adam.

Going straight from honeymoon to motherhood--especially when she's unsure she wants children--leaves the normally even-keeled Monica doubting herself at every turn. Yet in a place like Cedar Key, nobody goes it alone. With help from friends and relatives, Monica, Clarissa, and Adam begin to forge a close-knit family of their own--one that will need to be strong enough to withstand all the surprises set to unravel. . .

Praise for Spinning Forward

"Poignant, absorbing, humorous. . .a debut that tugs at the heart." --Sophia Nash, author of A Dangerous Beauty

"Captures the essence of what often lies in each of our hearts. Don't miss it!" --J.L. Miles, author of Cold Rock River

"Like a lazy island summer. . .a story of secrets and loss, friendship and recovery, and rediscovered love." --Laura Castoro, author of Love on the Line

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this syrupy return to Spinning Forward, the Cedar Key, Fla., knitting business that gave her previous novel its name, DuLong explores a young woman's awakening to stepmotherhood. Since buying her mother, Sydney Webster's, yarn shop, and adjusting to married life with Adam Brooks, Monica is feeling peaceful, if a little overwhelmed. But that peace is challenged when Adam is awarded custody of his eight-year-old daughter, Clarissa Jo, after his alcoholic ex has a drunk-driving accident while Clarissa Jo is left unsupervised at home. When Clarissa Jo arrives acting much younger than she is (she totes a Raggedy Ann doll), Monica begins an uneasy relationship with her that slowly blooms into a sweet bond. Also spun into DuLong's yarn-centric tale is a subplot about Monica's best friend dating an untrustworthy developer who'd rather have her coffee shop property than her heart. And with the appearance of the ghost of Monica's grandmother, a benevolent spirit who helps Clarissa adjust to her new life, DuLong adds a bit of paranormal magic to this otherwise paint-by-numbers endeavor. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Stepchildren and ex-spouses can present challenges to any newly married couple. In her second novel (after Spinning Forward), DuLong returns to the Florida island of Cedar Key and introduces Monica, a newlywed who learns that her husband, Adam, is now going to have custody of his shy and sullen eight-year-old daughter. Happy in her new marriage and running her mother's knitting shop, Monica is a bit resentful of this added responsibility and equally unsure of her skills as a mother. How these three decent characters maneuver through a variety of not entirely unexpected plot twists, ending with a scary medical crisis, makes for a pleasant and entertaining read. The comfort and solace of knitting is interwoven throughout as Monica and her stepdaughter begin to bond over the craft and eventually form a deep and lasting affection for each other. Wonderful neighbors, supportive relatives, and a cute little dog name Billie all help Adam, Monica, and young Clarissa form a caring and strong family unit. Verdict Readers who have enjoyed the knitting-themed stories of Debbie Macomber or Kate Jacobs will likely find this a delightful addition to that-genre of-needlecraft-inspired books. It's a sweet-novel without terribly complicated characters or unrealistic situations.—Margaret Hanes, Civic Ctr. Lib., Warren, MI

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

Publication date:
Terri DuLong's Cedar Key Series , #2
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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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File size:
842 KB

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Casting About 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
kanellio65 More than 1 year ago
Terri DuLong has given a gift to readers everywhere with her new Cedar Key Series novel, CASTING ABOUT. I absolutely adored this book as it was the perfect read to curl up with on a fall day and get lost on the Island of Cedar Key with its down home charm and friendly inhabitants. In the first novel of the series, SPINNING FORWARD, readers were introduced to Monica who is the daughter of Sydney Webster. Sydney's story was mostly what the first book was about and in it (not to add a spoiler) we found that her yarn shop was taken over by Monica when Sydney left town. -Monica is in the "honeymoon stage" of her marriage of five months to the marvelous Adams Brooks, a strong male role model who is a school teacher and single dad of eight-year-old daughter Clarissa Jo. When Adam's ex-wife, Carrie Sue, a "real character", is declared unfit, Adam gains full custody of Clarissa Jo and couldn't be happier. Newly located and settled in Cedar Key, Monica fell in love with Adam, and they were only married those few months when she is suddenly thrust head-first into the sudden responsibility of motherhood. Clarissa arrives and the three begin the process of forming a suddenly ready-made family as Monica is required to make huge strides into becoming a mother very quickly. Unsure if she even wants to be a mother, Monica takes on the mission however, and through trial and error, many emotional ups and downs, slowly helps the three begin to bond as a family. After a few missteps, things are moving right along and Monica's doubts about her maternal instinct begin to diminish. -With the help of family and friends, Monica is able to run her business and actually make some great improvements to the shop as well as slowly become used to being married and being a suddenly new mother. Adam's mother, Opal, comes to stay on the island for a while and her stay stretches out as she bonds more with her granddaughter and her own insecurities begin to fade somewhat on this tiny strip of paradise. Delightful Dora is Monica's aunt and helps run the shop, although she does it out of love of the business and knitting, rather than for any money. Last in Monica's circle is Grace, who is her best friend, and runs a wonderful local coffee shop that is down the street from the shop. The two friends are great support for each other and with Grace, another plot line develops. -When Grace starts to see a new man in town, Monica worries as Grace seems to be getting in pretty deep, pretty fast. It turns out the local beehive of gossip has it that developers are trying to buy up property to turn the lovely island into a tourist mecca. The locals are against this and when Monica gets an idea that the man Grace is seeing is implicated, she gets involved in their business which starts some fireworks going. -The other sub-plot deals with a spirit of Sybile who was Monica's late grandmother. Faintly, and then more noticeably, she seems to make her presence known to Monica who at first chalks it up as coincidence. First things disappear and then show up again suddenly. Next Sybile seems to play an important part in helping Clarissa adjust to her new home. However, when sudden illness strikes the family, Sybile's presence is most assuredly felt and it plays an important part in the story. -With the twists and turns of each story line keeping the pages turning, all "knitting" together nicely at the conclusion; this is a novel I hated to see end. CASTING ABOUT reads just fine as
harstan More than 1 year ago
Four years ago Monica Webster moved to Cedar Key, Florida where she bought her mom's yarn shop and fell in love and married Adam Brooks (see Spinning Forward). Life has been good as business is doing well and her relationship with Adam is strong. She loves living on the Key with eccentric neighbors and her beloved Adam. However, her idyllic world implodes when the court declares Adam's alcoholic former wife an unfit mother following a DUI in which their eight-year-old daughter, Clarissa Jo was left home unsupervised; custody is granted to Adam. Although she was unsure she wanted to be a mom, Monica feels for Clarissa Jo who arrives clinging to a Raggedy Ann doll like a much younger child would. As the trio tries to forge into a family, a struggling at step-motherhood Monica turns to her kindhearted grandma for sage advice; even though her granny died years ago. The prime plot of Monica and Adam adjusting to his preadolescent daughter living with them is not a new theme (see Carrie Adams' The Godmother and the Stepmother); however several subplots bring brisk freshness to the enjoyable character driven story line. Granny adds a beautiful TLC touch from the grave and Monica's BFF has relationship issues. Fans of family dramas will appreciate Terri DuLong's fine tale of an adult welcoming with doubts that she is capable of parenting a frightened depressed girl whose best friend is her doll. Harriet Klausner
lindyLW More than 1 year ago
Just read " Casting About" it is so great, a very moving story, you won`t want to miss. It was so good I didn`t put it down, till I finished it and now I am going to read her Christmas book. She is such a great author you feel the characters are like friends of yours.
azdlm More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book about a small community. Much like the books by Debbie Macomber and Robin Carr you find great characters dealing with every day problems. There is a sense of family and friends discovering life and being there for one another. You will love all of Terri DuLong's Cedar Key series. If you love to knit, you will love them twice as much.
Barbaraketubah More than 1 year ago
nice reading,
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