Friday, March 1, 2013

Wishing on Willows - by Katie Ganshert

Wishing on Willows is a sequel to Wildflowers from Winter, which I enjoyed enough to hope for a continuation to the story, so I was very pleased to find this follow-up book!  This story picks up with Robin Price, who lost her husband in the first book and built a cafe to honor his memory and find a way to live again.  Now, four years later, and with an almost 4-year-old son, she is struggling to keep up with the demands of her life.  Not only is being a single mom and a cafe owner hard enough, but now there's a development company in town who wants to tear down her cafe to build condominiums.  Robin doesn't want to hurt the town, but she also doesn't want to give up the cafe she's poured her heart and soul into.  As the developer's agent, Ian, tries to convince Robin to sell, he admires her passion and begins to question his own choices in life.  Can he bring himself to force the deal to gain his father's approval and keep the family company from hurting its employees?  Can Robin find a way to keep her cafe without damaging the town?  Or does she need to move on from her past and find a new joy in her life?

As with her first novel, Ms. Ganshert does so many things well with this story.  Her main plot line moves along cleanly, but her supporting characters don't get lost in the shadows.  I liked that the main characters from the first book made several appearances in this one, enough to get a feel for where they were now and what their lives looked like.  The one character whose story seemed to complicate the book, however, was Amanda's - there was talk of her past and even a move to letting go and moving on, but it somehow seemed distinctly separate from the main story and felt just a bit awkward.  The other thing that this author does well is to incorporate a love story without it feeling heavy-handed or the singular focus of the book.  As a reader, you know where that particular plot line will end up, but it's done well enough that you're rooting for it to get there.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot.  I don't see plans for another in this series, but I really hope that one develops!  It felt like Amanda's plot line was left hanging, and I'd like to see her story filled out.  Also, it would be nice to see how Robin and Ian's plans turn out for them.
I give this book 4 stars!

I know that there are certain topics that are sensitive to readers, and you may want to be forewarned before being surprised by them in a story where you didn't expect.  Due to that fact, I would like to mention that this book deals with: infertility, abortion, and cancer.

You can find the author's website HERE.
You can read an excerpt of the book HERE.
You can find an interview with the author discussing this book HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program, in exchange for my honest review.

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