The Wishing Tree
Sweet, Southern Story
IÃ¢ÂÂll be honest. Several days after finishing The Wishing Tree by Marybeth Whalen, I still have mixed feelings about the book. The premise was goodÃ¢ÂÂa couple who realizes after 5 years of marriage that things are not going as they had hoped and separate after the husband strays. When the wife reconnects with her former fiancÃÂ©, sheÃ¢ÂÂs torn between the past and working out her marriage in the present. Plus, I enjoyed my Ã¢ÂÂtripÃ¢ÂÂ to the Outer Banks and would love to visit in person.
However, the story plays out in such a way that I really felt cheated by the ending. ThereÃ¢ÂÂs so much angstÃ¢ÂÂand so little communication!!!Ã¢ÂÂbetween Ivy and Elliott and Ivy and her mom and Ivy and her sister and Ivy and Michael and Ivy and April. But then as things finally began to resolve, the scenes were only marginally described, alluded to, and/or completely left out. Honestly, after 250 pages of angst, I needed to read the resolutions. Plus, the end left the readers with a Ã¢ÂÂpossibilityÃ¢ÂÂ of resolution but no real certainty of what would happen between Ivy and one of the characters.
Additionally, Ivy got on my very last nerve. I thought she was immature and bratty most of the time. It might have helped to understand more of what happened 5 years prior. Unfortunately, though, we didnÃ¢ÂÂt get to really read about all of thatÃ¢ÂÂand what I read sort of left me thinking she was just immature then too.
I REALLY liked Shea (IvyÃ¢ÂÂs sister) and Leah (IvyÃ¢ÂÂs aunt). I would be very interested in reading their stories in the future! AND I loved the tradition of the wishing tree. If I had read this before getting married, I probably would have had one at my wedding.
Despite my mixed feelings, I am glad I stuck with the book. Overall, it was a nice story and a good one-time read. [3 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my fair and honest review.
July 8, 2013
The Wishing Tree
As a reader, I couldnÃ¢ÂÂt help but feel great sympathy for Ivy and disregard for Elliott who has just committed an affair before the book starts. So often when I read these kinds of scenarios, I ponder what I would do. Would I become passive? Cold? Run away? Cut my spouse off? I certainly canÃ¢ÂÂt judge Ivy for the decisions she made to leave, to find space to think.
But poor girl, jumps from one frying pan into another. And doesnÃ¢ÂÂt always make the best decisions. I will admit that after a while IvyÃ¢ÂÂs attitude toward her marriage and her family became tiresome. It wasnÃ¢ÂÂt overt to the point that I wanted to stop readingÃ¢ÂÂ¦I simply found repetitiveness in lack of communication with her family and lack of circumstances to propel her further down her journey, redundant. Much of the story Ã¢ÂÂtoldÃ¢ÂÂ me what happened and I wasnÃ¢ÂÂt as present within the story as I love to be.
My favorite character as the story progressed? Elliott. And youÃ¢ÂÂll have to read the book to find out why. But the way this man fought for his wife and their marriageÃ¢ÂÂ¦plus the whole Twitter thing too was pretty sweet and an obvious step outside his comfort zone.
Overall, good womenÃ¢ÂÂs fiction with romantic elements and great points to take and learn much as the characters do.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
June 30, 2013
I didn't love it
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.
I received a copy of this book from Zondervan, in exchange for my honest review.
June 23, 2013
Ivy MarshallÃ¢ÂÂs life seems to be going in a downward spiral. Within a short amount of time she loses her job and discovers that her suspicions are correct, her husband Elliott is cheating on her. As if that were not enough to deal with she receives a call from her mother informing her that her sisterÃ¢ÂÂs fiancÃÂ© is going to propose to her on national television. How can Ivy share her familyÃ¢ÂÂs joy when their relationships are strained and her world is falling apart? When IvyÃ¢ÂÂs mother asks her to come to Sunset Beach to help plan the wedding she decides that it may be the escape that she needs to deal with her past and think about her future. Sunset Beach holds many memories for Ivy especially memories of Michael. Michael is IvyÃ¢ÂÂs former fiancÃÂ© and she wonders if there is still hope for them now that it seems like her marriage is falling apart. Ivy learns a lot in her journey about love, forgiveness and grace.
This book is a great summer read. Most of the story takes place in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The authorÃ¢ÂÂs vivid descriptions make you feel like you are there with the characters. I thought the author did a good job of illustrating how we can never run from our problems. We have to take our problems to The Lord and allow Him to heal us.
The author also did an excellent job of showing that the grace we may be seeking is the same grace that we may need to extend. I look forward to reading more from this author.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneezeÃÂ®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
June 17, 2013