Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Nice Southern Story ... The Wishing Tree by Marybeth Whalen

The Wishing Tree
by Marybeth Whalen
Christian Fiction / Contemporary
Available June 2013
336 pages

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About the Book
Savvy, determined Ivy Marshall discovers that her husband has cheated on her on the very same day her sister’s perfect boyfriend proposes on national television. When Ivy’s mother asks her to return to her family’s beach home to plan her sister’s upcoming wedding, she decides to use the excuse to escape from the pain of her broken heart.

When her return to Sunset Beach, North Carolina, brings Ivy face to face with her former fiancĂ©, old feelings are rekindled and she wonders if there is a future for them. However, when Ivy refuses to talk to her husband, he resorts to tweeting to her, expressing his remorse and making it clear he doesn’t want to give up on their marriage. As she helps prepare the wishing tree for her sister’s wedding, she must examine her dreams for her own future and what true love should be.

My Thoughts
I’ll be honest. Several days after finishing The Wishing Tree by Marybeth Whalen, I still have mixed feelings about the book. The premise was good—a couple who realizes after 5 years of marriage that things are not going as they had hoped and separate after the husband strays. When the wife reconnects with her former fiancĂ©, she’s torn between the past and working out her marriage in the present. Plus, I enjoyed my “trip” to the Outer Banks and would love to visit in person.

However, the story plays out in such a way that I really felt cheated by the ending. There’s so much angst—and so little communication!!!—between Ivy and Elliott and Ivy and her mom and Ivy and her sister and Ivy and Michael and Ivy and April. But then as things finally began to resolve, the scenes were only marginally described, alluded to, and/or completely left out. Honestly, after 250 pages of angst, I needed to read the resolutions. Plus, the end left the readers with a “possibility” of resolution but no real certainty of what would happen between Ivy and one of the characters.

Additionally, Ivy got on my very last nerve. I thought she was immature and bratty most of the time. It might have helped to understand more of what happened 5 years prior. Unfortunately, though, we didn’t get to really read about all of that—and what I read sort of left me thinking she was just immature then too.

I REALLY liked Shea (Ivy’s sister) and Leah (Ivy’s aunt). I would be very interested in reading their stories in the future! AND I loved the tradition of the wishing tree. If I had read this before getting married, I probably would have had one at my wedding.

Despite my mixed feelings, I am glad I stuck with the book. Overall, it was a nice story and a good one-time read. [3 stars]

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Marybeth Whalen is the wife of Curt and mom of six children. She is the director of She Reads, an online book club focused on spotlighting the best in women's fiction. Marybeth is the author of The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, The Guest Book, and The Wishing Tree (Spring 2013). Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words. She's always at work on her next novel. Marybeth and her family live in North Carolina.

Marybeth Whalen Online

1 comment:

  1. This was a great review, Brooke! Loved reading it and picking out so many lines that made me go, "yes!" Basically this was just what I thought also - I cannot decide exactly what to think of this one. Glad I read it though because there are some good things even in the bad - mainly it was that whole ending that didn't "set well."


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