The Wishing Trees by John Shors: Review and Free (Author Signed!) Book Contest
By: Mirah W. (mwelday)
The Wishing Trees is about trying to find hope and direction after the death of a loved one. Kate, a wife and mother, realizes she is dying and understands her husband and daughter will have difficulties accepting her death. Before she passes away she devises a plan to move her family closer to acceptance and help them find a way to live again. Kate wants her husband Ian to take their daughter Mattie on the trip through Asia the family had planned to take in honor of Kate and Ian’s fifteenth wedding anniversary.
Ian is uncertain about the journey but he grants Kate’s last wish and takes Mattie on the trip, visiting places Kate and Ian once explored together. But they also go on adventures of their own, creating new memories for the two of them. Throughout their journey, they leave wishes about their futures in ‘wishing trees’ and they experience miracles that bring them closer to healing. Ian and Mattie meet people and experience moments that change how they look at the world. But will they find a way to open their hearts to love and happiness once again?
I found this story of love and grief to be very heartwarming. I think most little girls would want a father like Ian. He was caring but not smothering. He doesn’t talk to her like she’s a child, he realizes the death of her mother has forced her to grow up in ways other children might not. The journey they take together allows both of them to have moments of happiness, sadness, disappointment, hope and fear. All of these emotions and the characters’ reactions to situations give the novel a feeling of reality; like they are two real people you could know who are trying to cope with a tragedy.
In this novel John Shors does what I think he does best: he captures the authenticity of a culture in a way I’ve seen few other writers do with such success. In his novels, he breathes life into places and they become characters in the story, not just settings. I have been to several of the countries in this book (Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong) and John captures the local people, sites and language beautifully. I have said before John’s novels allow me to travel the world without leaving the comfort of my reading chair and I think you’d agree. If you haven’t read anything by John, this would be a great place to start! And, lucky for you, PBS is giving away a copy with this review!
Want a chance to win the signed copy of The Wishing Trees? Here’s how: Leave a comment to this blog about where you’d like to visit and why. Throughout The Wishing Trees Ian and Mattie are on a trip of discovery, visiting places with memories Ian can share with Mattie and visiting new places to create new memories. They learn more about themselves and one another through their trip together. Where would your trip of discovery take you? What would you hope to learn? A winner will be chosen at random from all entries.