July 14, 2020
Blurb: This program includes an author’s note, read by the author.
From the New York Times best-selling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.
Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way. And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before – at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him – but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school – and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit- and tie-wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hellbent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love – which is the riskiest move of all. With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.
A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin’s Press
Perhaps it’s fitting that the first novel I listen to for Netgalley’s launching of audiobook reviews is one of my favorite novels of the year, What You Wish For by Katherine Center. If you feel like it may be deja vu regarding my reviewing this novel, you would be correct. I reviewed the eARC earlier and you can see that review here.
Frankly, I didn’t think it would be possible when I requested the audiobook for me to love this novel more than I already did. However, listening to Thérèse Plummer’s perky narration of Sam changed my mind. I knew What You Wish For is about joy, bringing joy into your life, faking it until you make it but listening to Plummer drove it home. She imbued Sam with a touch of a quirky inflection that made me feel even more, if that’s possible. I felt Sam’s highs and lows, her indignation, her sorrow, fears, sadness, and her love.
Listening to the narration added another element to the novel for me. I rarely read a book more than once any more. You know, too many books, too little time. But for this one, I’m so glad that I listened to this novel. Especially now. While What You Wish For is about choosing joy, it’s also about community and people coming together. There’s a remarkable scene in which a young boy tries to save a pygmy sperm whale that will melt even the iciest heart.
It’s true. It’s not always possible to feel joy. Not these days. But you can choose to find it. If you doubt me, listen to Thérèse Plummer narrate What You Wish For and you might change your mind.
There’s a really good chance that when I’m feeling a little low, I might listen to this book again just because we all need to not only feel joy but understand how to bring it into our lives and revisit it again and again.
I received an audiobook copy in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies