24 April 2013

Review: Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

Robin Price lost her husband, Micah, four and a half years ago. She has an almost four-year old-son, Caleb, and runs a café in the small town of Peaks, Iowa—a dream ignited on her honeymoon, when she and Micah spent three weeks touring European cafés. But her dream might be about to come to an end: the town council wants to build condominiums, and Robin’s café is the logical site, even though she shares the building with One Life, an important local ministry to the poor.

Ian McKay hopes to be the developer who will be responsible for building the condos. Getting this project will be a job-saver for his father’s company. But Robin is being stubborn and won’t even listen to his offer. And as he spends time with her, Caleb and her extended family, he discovers that maybe he doesn’t want to take this away from her.

I really enjoyed Katie Ganshert’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter (which I also reviewed), but I didn’t enjoy this as much. In Wildflowers from Winter, Robin was a new widow, and it made sense that she was struggling in her grief and that her loss was the defining part of her personality.

But Wishing on Willows is set four years later, and not only is Robin not ready to let go of her own grief, but she is shouldering the grief and problems of others and almost sinking under the burden. Yet none of her friends or family have addressed this. They step in to help her in the café and babysit Caleb, but it seemed to me that Robin was burying her grief in activity, which can’t be healthy, and her friends and family are enabling her.

I just wanted to shake Robin and make her read something like Women Who Do Too Much… and then I realised, hey, this is fiction. Robin’s not real. So even while I have these issues with Robin’s character, all credit to Katie Ganshert for making me forget she was just a fictional character. I still like Wildflowers from Winter better, but I’ll be interested to see what comes next. Will it be Gavin’s story, or Amanda’s?

Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Katie Ganshert at her website.

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