[Wish]: A Review

Hi y’all!

I hope your October continues to be magical and pumpkin filled. I can’t believe Halloween is so close!

Today I am here with a review of Wish by Barbara O’Connor. I can’t remember the exact place I heard about this book. But I am so glad I picked it up at my local used bookstore! Its a lovely story about a girl searching for home in the mountains of Tennesse.

Book Summary: “Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

I really enjoyed the storytelling in this book. The details and imagery were lovely. Descriptions of people, the blue smokey mountains, food and places. The way the house is situated on the side of the mountain. Bertha’s cooking. Eating popsicles and jello at Howard’s. Exploring with Wishbone. Details in Charlie’s room. Sitting out in the deck watching the fireflies. The details are cozy and nostalgic. I felt like I was there with Charlie getting to know people and places. I loved exploring the town of Colby and falling in love with it’s cozy, quirky people.

The characters in this book offer stark contrasts in their kindness and compassion. I loved how the people of Colby take Charlie in and make her feel part of their families and community. Bertha is a lovely character and I admired her true kindness and compassion. She tries her very best to help Charlie feel at home, even as she doesn’t always know how. Also enjoyed Charlie’s relationship with Howard and his family. These positive relationships are so different from those Charlie is used to. The way her sister treats her when she visits and the letters and phone calls with family members were quite different from the life she lives in Colby. I enjoyed the fun little anecdotes of Charlie’s life in Colby from bible study to weeding the garden, and summer exploring and snacks outside. It just was a neat story to get lost in.

This book has a lovely story and also discusses hard experiences as well. It tackles some tough issues like a parent in jail, foster care, parents fighting and potentially verbal abuse. Charlie has experienced a lot in her young life. Many of these experiences are hard to read about because she is still a child. It was interesting to see how her trials have affected her perspective on the world and how she interacts with other people especially Bertha and Howard. I was impressed how these issues are connected in the story without being too intense. They add to the story rather than take it over.

This was such a fun book to experience. I enjoyed the characters and especially Charlie’s journey through the story. I loved the ending and how Charlie’s wish is a part of everything she does. The idea of wishing is a lovely concept — childlike and hopeful. I would like to read more of Barbara O’Connor’s books!

What are some of your favorite books about childhood?
Any Barbara O’Connor fans out there? Which of her books have you read?

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