Daily Archives: July 15, 2020

Book Review: What You Wish For – Can Dreams Come True?

What You Wish For

By Katherine Center

School Librarian Samantha Casey is happy in life, but not in love. She adores her job in the small, private school and the children she teaches. Her co-workers are kind, fun and have accepted her into their fold with open arms. The little community on Galveston Island, Texas is just what she is searching for after fleeing her last job. She loved the school she worked in, but after falling for one of the most amazing men she had ever met, his rebuff was too hard to live with. She moved to a small town and immediately felt at home and loved her new job at Kempner School.

After the devastating death of her boss Max, the principle and founder of Kempner School, everything changes in the small community. His replacement is named, and is none other than Duncan Carpenter, the man Sam fell head over heels for at her previous job. Not only will he be her boss, but the fun-loving crazy dressing man she knew is gone. And the new Duncan is sucking all of the joy out of the new school and town she now calls home. He is threatening to change everything she loves with new rules and joyless tactics based upon keeping all of the children safe in the eventuality of violence that he experienced firsthand.

Max’s widow Babette seems to be allowing all of the changes, but she is willing to hatch a scheme with Sam and a few friends to convince Duncan to enjoy, not fear life. In doing so, Sam will have to spend more time with Duncan, which makes her uncomfortable, but she’ll do almost anything to keep Max’s legacy alive.

What You Wish For is a deep, yet fast and easy to read novel.  It deals with love, loss and the devastation of a school shooting (that is presented as a memory of one of the characters). Ms. Center also writes of love, joy and happiness. The kindness of the characters as well as the love the residents of the town have for each other and the school will remain with you long after the last pages are read.

This is the first book I have read by Katherine Center and I absolutely loved it. I will seek out her previous seven books and add them to my list. The message of hope and love is especially important now, I highly recommend this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop – Another Gem from Fannie Flagg

The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

By Fannie Flagg

Some of the beloved characters of “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” are back and a new generation has grown up in Fannie Flagg’s latest gem. She tells stories of the past, weaving them with the current happenings in places near and far from the ghost town Whistle Stop has become.

The heart of this book is “Bud” Threadgoode, the adopted son of Idgie, birth son of Ruth, both of whom owned and ran the Whistle Stop Café. Bud is grown now; we get to meet his daughter Ruth in this book and follow his uneven path back to the life he loved.

Flagg takes the reader back in time from the 1930’s to present time, filling in the backstory of all the characters old and new. The short, snappy chapters are like sitting around with your favorite aunt telling you stories about your family’s past. The ease of transition from 1935 to present day is masterfully done and easy to follow.

The richness and difference of personalities shines through. Idgie has a heart of gold, but is not without problems. Ruthie is loved but challenged by the new family she marries into and Bud has lived a long and fulfilling life in spite of having lost an arm in an accident as a child.

I am a huge fan of Fannie Flagg’s books. Her style is easy to read and comforting because the message isn’t one of everything going right for the characters, but how they adapt, adjust and enjoy life no matter what happens, both good and bad.

This is the fifth book I have read by Ms. Flagg. I will never tire of her style, characters and the way she approaches and tells her stories. I highly recommend it to anyone that enjoys women’s fiction, general fiction, cozies and southern fiction.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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