Thursday 4 January 2024

What You Wish For

Finished December 27
What You Wish For by Katherine Center

This novel is about second chances, finding joy in something every day, and giving yourself time to play. Samantha Casey is the librarian at a private school in Galveston, Texas. She has become close with the couple that founded the school, Max and Babette, and lives in the coach house on their property. It was Max that taught her to look for joy. Sam has changed from a woman who was smart but shy into one who delights in colour, who truly engages with the kids in her school because she pays attention to them, and yet also one who has still not allowed herself to dream all those dreams she has. 
When tragedy strikes, Duncan Carpenter is hired to be the new school principal, and Sam can't believe it. Duncan Carpenter is a man from her past, one that provided inspiration for who she is today, but the man who shows up is utterly changed from the one she knew. 
Duncan, and the man who hired him, seem focused on one thing and one thing only, and that focus threatens the heart of this very creative school. Sam, and the rest of the school community must rally together, despite their grief, and work to change Duncan back into the man she had a crush on years ago.
I really related to this second chance love story, and the two main characters. Samantha is a woman after my own heart, one who delights in being creative and fun, and listening to those she cares about to meet their needs in the best way she can. Duncan is a man who has endured a very traumatic event, and who is searching for a way forward, but not always making the best choices. One gets glimpses of his heart early on, but it takes a long time for his story to be revealed.
I also really loved this school, and the other teachers that are part of the story, from math nerd to phys ed teacher. If this school, or ones like it exist, the kids that go there are really lucky. 
A great read, one of my favourites of the year. 

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