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Book Review: "Windsong" a novel by MMW member Marylou Bugh

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

By Lenore Troia

Anyone growing up in Michigan can relate to the beloved ‘up north’ family cottage or cabin. Usually passed down through generations, these havens are typically the escape from the hustle and bustle of metro Detroit’s urban workspace. Cherished memories of summer escapades and adventure shape the lives of many Michiganders.

In the new novel Windsong by Marylou Bugh, a tale from one of these locales unfolds. Sabrina and her brother William, who, much to the chagrin of his father, still gets called by his childhood nickname, Billy Willy, are close pals in collecting treasures from the wilderness that surrounds their family retreat named Windsong. Sebrina dreams of her time there each summer although limited and strictly scheduled for the same time every year, July 15th to August 28th.

Early on, she has doubts about her parents’ relationship with the glaring hold her father has on her mother. Sebrina thinks Billy Willy’s description of his parents should be a poem, and she refers to it throughout her life:” Mother grew up in the upper Peninsula, but Father treats her like a beautiful flower, sprung from forest fungi that he plucked and transplanted in a crystal vase. If an errant shoot springs up from her fragile stem, Father cuts it away before it overtakes his blossom, the centerpiece of his carefully designed life.”

Sebrina and William are raised by a nanny and eventually enter elite private schools. Their education is carefully navigated by their ambitious attorney father obsessed with appearances while building his political career. William’s brilliance keeps his father satisfied while his unconventional lifestyle stays safely hidden from scrutiny. After much concern over her relentless inquisitiveness, Sebrina’s academic achievements finally gain her fathers’ acceptance.

Over time, unexpected events change the family dynamic and mysteries abound. Sebrina is haunted within and without Windsong’s walls as she is told not to ask questions. A missing person and a suspected murder come into play, and the properties family relatives maintain secrets yet to be uncovered.

When Sebrina meets Llewellyn, her future husband, she sees his potential to envision things she cannot see, and together they work on solving what led to a fatal accident. They travel to New Orleans in search of a long-lost friend who helps unravel another part of their investigation. Persistence pays off as more family history is uncovered, and a surprise ending resolves the story is a satisfying way.

Marylou Bugh has gifted us with a novel that should be a best seller if given the promotion it deserves. It is a beautifully written page turner rich with assorted characters that make up the northern Michigan landscape and beyond!

You can purchase Windsong at Amazon:

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