The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

We all have the experience of ‘wishing away’ something in our childhoods, even if for a moment.  Susan Bishop Crispell takes that common moment a few steps further when adding the ability to make all wishes come true in

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes

Rachel has a huge secret, one that has brought her guilt and turmoil for years: she can grant wishes. For years she has ignored this ability and managed to not see the little slips of paper with wishes written on them that fall with each “I wish”.  Until Violet’s birthday – when little Violet grabs Rachel and “shares” her birthday candle blowing-out wish.  When a pony with a sugar cone held to its head with a rubber band, Rachel knows she has to get far away from her best friend Mary Beth and her family, before something horrible happens.

On a random ‘this looks good” road from Memphis, suddenly Rachel’s car is out of gas, and she’s completely lost.  But is she found? Nowhere North Carolina is the town of Lost and Found, and some believe that arriving there is meant to be. Soon Rachel finds herself sitting with Catch, a third generation Secret Binder, who enables silence and tightly held secrets with concentration and incantations spelled out with butter underneath the fruit filling of her pies.

Complex characters with plenty of secrets – shared and not highlight the story that truly is Rachel’s journey to growing up and learning to make choices. Rachel, with Catch’s help, is coming to learn that her belief in the worst always happening may just be why things are not always a happy result.  With several sub-plots that do seem to use secrets kept and not, as well as wishes and a romance, the story is gripping, engaging and while the tumult for Rachel is visceral and palpable, it is all the more wonderful for the ending.

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

Title: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes
Author: Susan Bishop Crispell
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Literary Fiction, Magic, Small Town
Published by: Thomas Dunne Books
ISBN: 1250089093
Published on: 6 September, 2016
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 304
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One Flame

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26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Susan Bishop Crispell

Susan Bishop Crispell earned a BFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. Susan lives and writes near Wilmington, NC with her husband and their two literary-named cats. She is the author of The Secret Ingredient of Wishes.

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