Before we begin, let’s hurry up and brush over the fact that I am, yet again, highlighting some chick lit here. And I’ll be honest, this one doesn’t even have any monsters hiding in the background to find out if they’re sparkling or not or any pirates to cheer on as they drink their rum. This is chick lit. Be prepared… 🙂
The Wishing Place by Mindy Haig is, at its core, a conflicted story about waiting for the future to arrive. Right from the start, we are shown how the book will end. Not only that, but we are assured time and again that there is nothing that can be done to change that ending. This leaves the reader to only sit back and enjoy the ride, while wondering, at each page turn, if the time foretold is there.
But there’s so much more to it that that. The story revolves around Nick and Val, who at the beginning of the book are 8 years old. Val inherited a bit of a talent from her grandmother, a talent that allows her to see into the future, as well as the ability to visit the place noted by the book’s title, The Wishing Place, or as Val calls it, The Dream Room. This place is a place where one’s heart’s desires can be fulfilled, as long as the room allows is.
The book starts on a night where Val is troubled by her terrible home life and, while in The Wishing Place, asks to see something important. The Room gives her Nick. A friendship quickly develops between the two, but there’s one big issue…they can’t tell each other where they are in the world, and therefore can only see each other in The Wishing Place.
The book develops from there in three main narratives, Val’s life outside the room, Nick’s life outside the room, and their lives together inside the room, which only occur during the time they sleep at night. The reader is then taken on a journey through the next decade and a half, watching these star-crossed lovers as they age and yearn, struggling to reach the future, while ultimately needing to learn to live in the present.
Ms. Haig has done something quite special with this title. She has managed to capture two lifetimes, ultimately showing how your life leading up to meeting your soulmate may have absolutely nothing to do with that person, but does everything necessary toward preparing you for that moment. It’s a sweet tale where we watch these two struggle with some very difficult times, especially in the character of Val, while also seeing them triumph time and again. And we get to see as these two comfort and congratulate each other, although being separated by an undefined amount of space (until the end) and therefore not even knowing if the other person is real.
As is true with many indie authors, this novel could do with a loving polish from an editor, as there are many pieces that I believe could be trimmed and corrected, but I don’t believe they take away from the story at all, as it does, in a way, add to the innocence of the tale. The story itself continues to move you forward, never sitting still as these two struggle with doing exactly that, and causing you to constantly wonder if it is somehow possible that the future could be changed, or that the other person isn’t real, or, well, there’s always a ton of questions that crop up with dealing with the psychic realm, isn’t there?
Ultimately, if you’re into chick lit, this is a book I’m certain you’ll enjoy. If you’re wanting to get into chick lit, this would probably be a good starting point. If you’re not into chick lit…well, there’s still a good chance you’ll enjoy is, as I definitely did.
Of course, now I’m quite curious to find out what Ms. Haig has planned for the sequel.
Have fun out there!
// Of course, this is indie lit, so you can rest assured that this does not conform to your run of the mill female-focused literature. In fact, although I myself have still not become a convert over to this type of story, I found this book to be incredibly compelling. http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&Operation=GetScript&ID=OneJS&WS=1&l=as1&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til