Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Wishing Tree - by Marybeth Whalen

Ivy Marshall left Sunset Beach, North Carolina, five years ago, turning her back on everything that her family expected of her, and assuming they slammed the doors behind her.  Now, the husband she left everything behind for has cheated on her, and so Ivy decides to use the excuse of helping her sister, Shea, with her televised wedding as a reason to run away from Elliott and return home to her family, her childhood memories, and...her ex-fiancee.  Can she mend fences within her family while she's here?  Can she re-fan an old flame?  As she is asked to work on Shea's Wishing Tree, an old family wedding tradition, Ivy is forced  to face her own wishes for the wedding she never had, and try to figure out what wishes she has for her future.

This book did not wow me.  Ivy, as the main character, drove me a little crazy.  For most of the book, she is so focused on reconnecting with Michael, her ex-fiancee, and ignoring Elliott, that she's not even trying to evaluate how she's gotten where she is.  She unceremoniously dumped Michael 5 years ago for Elliott, and now she's equally quick to want to switch back.  There is no sense of her even wondering if this is the right thing for her to do.  She eventually comes to realize that she needs to be forgiven as much as she needs to extend forgiveness, but it was hard to care about things working out for her when she seemed to care so little for the lives of the people around her.  While some of the other characters in the book were more likable, none of them were really given enough depth to save the book.  The theme of forgiveness and family, and looking to make a better future, no matter your mistakes in the past, could have been hit a little harder and made this book much richer.

I give this book 2 stars.  I kept hoping that Ivy would get beyond herself to make some changes, and so I kept reading, but I wish there had been more.

You can find The Wishing Tree HERE.
You can find the author's blog HERE.

I received a copy of this book from Zondervan, in exchange for my honest review.

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