Katherine Center comes to the blog with a story of mindfulness and overcoming traumas with
What You Wish For
A progressive and highly regarded grammar school on Galveston Bay is the setting: colorful, engaging, and a happy place to be and work. When we meet Sam, she’s the school librarian, living in the carriage house of the school founders, and totally in love with books, reading and everything that makes the school pop. But with the death of the founder, and Sam’s ever-increasing tension with their daughter, as well as the changes the school will face, added to the grief from losing the founder and Sam’s own childhood issues – the story quickly takes form.
When Duncan is brought in as the new head of school, Sam is somewhat relieved that her history with him makes him the perfect fit, even though her unrequited love for him means she’s got to move on. But the Duncan that appears is far different than the one she knew. Obsessed with security, ruling with an iron fist and making decisions and shutting down the collaborative environment all in the name of security.
While the story is ostensibly about the growth and changes (and traumas) that both Sam and Duncan have endured, there is an ensemble cast here, solid friendships and the solid theme of “choose joy mindfully’, that was the hallmark of the school’s founder. No matter how scared you are – find one thing that makes you smile, really smile, and others will benefit from it as well. A tough task for Sam who still believes that she was the reason her parent’s split, and her father didn’t take custody after her mother’s death, some not so gentle pushing of Sam and Duncan together by all those who love her and want to see her grow, and plenty of moments to ‘aww’ over: from a precocious 9 year old to a cafeteria filled with child-sized butterflies, a labradoodle ‘security dog’ who isn’t and the struggle to balance security without inducing bone-deep fears. A bit over the top and somewhat cheesy at times, the story works despite those moments, and gives readers that bit of joy (and ways to grab it) that are sorely needed in today’s world.
Title: What You Wish For
Author: Katherine Center
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Romantic Elements, Second Chance
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 14 July, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 18 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.
And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.
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.