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Map of the Heart

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  7,002 ratings  ·  863 reviews

Love and family. War and secrets. Betrayal and redemption.


#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs returns with a deeply emotional and atmospheric story that spans oceans and decades, from the present-day Delaware shore to the battlefields of WWII France.


Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and settled into the qu

Kindle Edition, 369 pages
Published August 8th 2017 by William Morrow
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Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,002 ratings  ·  863 reviews

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Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6-stars, net-galley
WOW! Just WOW!

Map of the Heart stole my heart and led me on a romantic journey of healing and love in both present day and war torn France in WWII. Susan Wiggs wrote an amazing story that was intriguing, capturing the beautiful and tragic moments of a family that (rather they realize it or not) is in search of healing.

While we are introduced to Camille Adams who is a widow raising her teenage daughter alone yet with a strong family presence supporting her, Camille is merely going through the m
Linda Hart
Aug 15, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a well written novel with a compelling storyline and mysteries to solve. It moves between present day and WWII. Dual storylines can often be bothersome and confusing but the author, Susan Wiggs, is gifted by an ability to write them so they are easy to follow, interesting, and well organized. Another of her gifts is creating believable, true-to-life characters and their relationships with each other. Kudos to her for a captivating story and respectable romance without gratuitous s
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been a long time reader of Susan Wiggs and this is my favorite book by her. It's a wonderful story told in a dual time line with characters that readers can identify with. The settings in France are beautiful and the plot keeps the reader interested until the last page.

Camille and her teenage daughter, Julie, live by themselves in a small town and both are still mourning the loss of their husband/father five years after his death. Camille used to be brave and fearless but since her husba
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars
An event from the past has left Camille Adams fearful not just for herself but also for her fourteen year old daughter Julie. Camille has abandoned her once promising photographic career to concentrate on recovering and developing other people’s old photos. This is how she ends up meeting Finn but that initial meeting leaves them both angry. When Camille’s father proposes a trip back to his native France, for him, his daughter and granddaughter, it seems the obvious answer
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The plot of this sounded enticing. It’s difficult for me to resist WWII and the Resistance and so forth! However, having read fifty pages or so, I couldn’t get past the more than occasional crude references to bodily functions! They cast a pallor over the fairly unremarkable writing, from my perspective. What was the point? Reminded me boys in junior high.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars - Top Pick!

See the full review at

Heartbreakingly beautiful, Map of the Heart was another captivating piece of fiction from Susan Wiggs. A dual storyline set in WWII-era France and then in Bethany Bay, Delaware in the present time, we followed two couples who each faced serious challenges and seemingly insurmountable odds.

Susan Wiggs is one of my go-to authors for women’s fiction/chick lit. She always writes a heartfelt story and also frequently incorp
Camille Adams has not fully recovered from the tragic accident that killed her husband. She projects her fear of risk onto her daughter Julie, keeping her close to home. Julie is struggling at school, but doesn't want to upset her mother in her grief. When a trunk is sent to Camille's father from his childhood home in France, the mysteries of their family's past are brought to light. It also opens up a chance to find new beginnings for Camille, her father and Julie.
The story is told alternating
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this ARC from in exchange for a review.

The story is told in dual time lines, current day Massachusetts and France during WW II "An accomplished photographer, widow, and mother, Camille Palmer is content with the blessings she’s enjoyed. When her ageing father asks her to go with him to his native France, she has no idea that shes embarking on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her. "

The ending is all wrapped up in a tidy ball, it was an o
My favorite genre—dual time line/WW II & contemporary—from a talented story teller and narrator combo. Once I started listening, I could not stop! Great listening experience. Really enjoyed it.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEST BOOK OF 2017! Camille annoyed me a little bit but she was understandable and sympathetic. Besides that small quibble, I loved everything about this book. The characters were so well done. From the teenager and her story to the grandfather. I was so enthralled in the dual timeline . I really don't know which I loved more! The ending was SO PERFECT! The romance wasn't overstated. In the beginning I worried it would be "too much" but the distance was a nice way of them to get to know each othe ...more
Heather Alderman
I feel kind of bad giving this a low rating. I am sure plenty of people would really enjoy this book, but for me, I do not like this style of writing that is overly descriptive of every detail and everything is so perfect and gorgeous. The storyline was okay, but the characters grated on my nerves.
Deborah Morgan
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-adult
I loved the two stories happening back and forth.
Vikki Vaught
What an enjoyable read! So glad I decided to download this audio version. It's been years since I've read a book by Susan Wiggs; now I remember why I always loved her books. Great story, great charaters, lots of emotionally writing. Happy reading! ...more
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Susan Wiggs is my new favorite author. She takes ordinary people and make a excellent book out of it. The book starts with Camile who lost her husband and her daughter is having a tough time with life. As the story develops you see four generations deal with their own problems that later intertwine with each other to open their eyes to solutions. Well written book and very clever.
Asheley T.
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
This story is a standalone with dual timelines, set in present day with flashbacks to WWII-era France. This is the story of a woman that is afraid to loosen up and live because she is crippled by fear and past hurts. It’s also a story of family.

Camille lives as a helicopter parent, doing her best to keep her daughter Julie safe, but mostly stifling Julie’s adventurous spirit (and her own). After the tragic death of Camille’s husband about five years ago, Camille is terrified of risk, afraid she
Oct 23, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book sounded like such a great story. I love novels about family mysteries and secrets, especially when they revolve around World War II. So much about this book annoyed me though, it made it extremely unpleasant to read. First, Camille. EVERYTHING freaked this woman out. Her father going to France, her teen daughter staying home while she went out to a festival, her daughter participating in a school surf training class. Anytime any other character would suggest something to her, her immed ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Two storylines run parallel here (present day & WW2 eras), and eventually intertwine. So what happens when you adore one plot (or more accurately, one set of characters) and the other is simply, "meh"? A 3 star rating, I suppose. ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I gave this 4 stars, I rounded up because I wanted to keep reading, but felt that it tried to cover too much (bullying, nazis, underground allied supporter, homosexuality).
Gail Nelson
Not my favorite. A little too sappy and predictable. Couldn't really get invested in any of the characters... ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

‘The moments of life are ephemeral and unpredictable. We must capture the best ones and keep them safe in our hearts.’

I was eager to read a Susan Wiggs book and was pleasantly surprised by this dual time narrative with characters that a range of readers should identify with. With idyllic French Provencal settings and a plot to keep the reader engaged to the end, it proved a wonderful read. The insight into photography is a real bonus and I appreciated the
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

I picked up Map of the Heart because I absolutely adored last year’s Family Tree. And while I did like Map of the Heart, it just didn’t suck me into reading it in a single non-stop day the way that Family Tree did.

I want to say that Map of the Heart is two stories blended into one. But that happens on more than one axis, making me wonder if I should describe it as two stories, or perhaps four.

First, it’s a time-slip story. While most of the action takes pla
This has been on my shelves for a long time and I wasn't sure about it - I don't generally go for anything historical. But Wiggs is going to be at a book festival and I want her to sign the book, so I figured I should read it before then. Boy am I glad I did. I stayed up all night finishing it.

This is true chick-lit, not the junk food romance that's like candy. This is richer, more satisfying. Although I wish the main character hadn't been quite so unreasonably stubborn, I didn't dislike her to
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Map of the Heart is an emotional family saga of secrets, betrayals, heartbreak , understanding and most of all a love that spans through time and finds it's way back in an extraordinary way. The journey that takes the reader across oceans to France and back to the lovely waterfront village in Bethany Bay in Delaware.
Camille and her father, along with her daughter Julie will take a summer in France to find the secrets about who her father really is. Helping her with this search is a Finn, who is
I absolutely love this beautifully written lyrical prose. The quality of her writing is impressive! I’m so glad I saw this hard cover book at B&N for a 2 for $5 purchase! So worth it!!

Camille Adams is the MC who is an overprotective parent for understandable reasons, but she suffocated her daughter Julie.

Camille experienced a very tragic event in her life, an event that changed her forever. After a very trumatic event people often are afraid to venture out anymore and she loses that ability to
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always know reading a book by Susan Wiggs that I will run the gamut of emotions and will be left smiling in the end. Map of the Heart was no exception. Told in duel time lines, it is a beautifully written story about love, sacrifice and family.

I really loved this story. I'll admit in the beginning that I wasn't too keen on Camille. But as her story unfolded, I could understand her reluctance to let her heart feel again. As well as he over-protectiveness toward her doughier. Finn was my absolu
Joy Gerbode
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! I enjoy historical fiction, and there is enough of that smattered throughout the story to be enjoyable. I also like a good romance, and this is clearly a good romance, on so many levels. I enjoy travel, so this armchair travel to the south of France is fantastic. And I LOVE a good mystery, which this certainly is, as the characters try to unravel the mysteries of the past. Great word feasts, too, with poignant moments about living life to the fullest, each and every day. A wond ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs is well written with believable characters and a great plot. I love this author's books and this one was no exception.

I received an ARC via Netgalley and this is my unbiased review.
Rya Marrelli
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75! I thoroughly enjoyed this, though a few parts were a bit too cheesy for my taste! But all of the different stories wove together really nicely!
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book!! Such a sweet story in a time of sadness :)
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Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See ...more

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Susan Wiggs is the bestselling author of more than 50 books, including Just Breathe , 11 books in the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series ,...
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“she leaped down the porch steps to her car. There was no thought. No planning. Just action. When you get a call that your kid is in the ER, there can be no room for thinking. Just the deepest fear imaginable, the kind that gripped like a steel band around her chest.” 1 likes
“There were few forces greater than the power of a fourteen-year-old’s determination when she wanted something. A teenager would stop at nothing in order to get her way.” 1 likes
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