You are invited to the rest of your life.
Three women, from coast to coast and in between, open their mailboxes to the same intriguing invitation. Although leading entirely different lives, each has found herself at a similar, jarring crossroads. Right when these women thought they'd be comfortably settling into middle age, their carefully curated futures have turned out to be dead ends.
The sender of the invitation is Willa Silvester, who is reeling from the untimely death of her beloved husband and the reality that she must say goodbye to the small mountain town they founded together. Yet as Willa mourns her losses, an impossible question keeps staring her in the face: So now what?
Struggling to find the answer alone, fiercely independent Willa eventually calls a childhood friend who happens to be in her own world of hurt--and that's where the idea sparks. They decide to host a weeklong interlude from life, and invite two other friends facing their own quandaries. Soon the four women converge at Willa's Montana homestead, a place where they can learn from nature and one another as they contemplate their second acts together in the rugged wilderness of big sky country.
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About the Author
Laura Munson is the bestselling author of This Is Not The Story You Think It Is, which chronicles her journey through her own midlife crossroads. Drawing from the striking response to her memoir, the essay version of it in the New York Times "Modern Love" column, and her speaking events at women's conferences across the US, Laura founded the acclaimed Haven Writing Retreats and Workshops. After watching hundreds of people find their unique and essential voices under the big sky of Montana she calls home, Laura created Willa, the invitation, the friends, and the town to share what she has learned with people globally. Her work has been published and featured in many media outlets throughout the world.
"Women have always searched for community during life's critical crossroads, but it's the rare novel that nails the tone and tempo of what it feels like to embed with kindred spirits and share stories, joys, and fears from the heart. Every reader will relate to this beautiful story in powerful and personal ways. I cherished my time with Willa's Grove, sitting in this circle of women who, by the end, felt like best friends."-- "Lee Woodruff, #1 New York Times bestselling author "
"Willa's Grove is the book my heart needed right now. When I finished it, I held it to my chest and took a long, deep breath. It's a love letter to female friendships, to the power of vulnerability, to the strength of community, and daring to live authentically. An absolute must-read."-- "Julie Barton, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself"
"[A] stirring debut...Against the backdrop of a gorgeous landscape and an abundant kitchen, Willa's Grove shows the insights, comfort, and courage that women can find in community. It just might inspire you to seek a community--and a new adventure--of your own."-- "Janet Benton, author of Lilli de Jong"
"Reading Willa's Grove is like going to a girls' weekend where everyone spills their guts and tells the truth about their apparently not-so-perfect lives. It's truthful, raw, and, well, totally fun."-- "Cathy Lamb, author of All about Evie"
"A story of new friendships and old desires, secrets and regrets, Willa's Grove is just the midlife vacation read every woman needs to spur her on and grab hold of 'So now what?' I didn't read this aching and inspiring novel as much as wrapped myself up in it, following the heartache, yearning, and triumph in each woman's personal story."-- "V. C. Chickering, author of Nookietown and Twisted Family Values"
"Laura Munson has captured the magical safe haven of her Haven Writing Retreats in the pages of this gripping novel about four women who come together to work through the daunting what's next midlife question so many of us face. I saw pieces of myself in each of them as they soothed, challenged, supported, and ultimately triumphed, inspiring me to do my own exploration. This book is one that will sit on my nightstand for quite some time."-- "Sukey Forbes, bestselling author of The Angel in My Pocket: Love, Loss, and Life after Death and Haven Writing Retreat alum"
"Women all-too-often provide for everyone but themselves. There's new data to suggest the most important protector against an early death is a circle of friends who love and support you, and who make a lasting commitment to ask and answer, So, what do we do next? Willa's Grove is a novel, yes, but inherent in these pages is the stark truth about the inevitable magical highs and crushing lows of women's lives. It reminded me that we have to find our tribe, nurture it, and hang on."-- "Sheila Hamilton, author, mental health journalist, and host of @BeyondWellWithSheilaHamilton.com"
"This is the novel we need right now. Willa's Grove is an affirmation of creativity, sisterhood, and the power of belonging. The simple act of taking care of one another moves mountains. Don't tell anyone, but I think Laura Munson might have just made me a better person."-- "Chelsea Cain, New York Times bestselling author of Heartsick and others"
"I love this wonderful novel about women, friendship, and our deep-rooted need for community. Laura Munson has created a memorable and deeply relatable character in Willa Silvester. You'll want to give this book to your best friend the minute you finish reading it."-- "Ann Leary, New York Times bestselling author of The Good House"
"So what's next? That's the big question in the fiction debut from memoirist Munson...Readers will be able to relate to the themes of female friendship and personal growth."-- "Booklist"