However, the story plays out in such a way that I really felt cheated by the ending. There's so much angstâ€”and so little communication!!!â€”between 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 "possibility" 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 didn't get to really read about all of thatâ€”and what I read sort of left me thinking she was just immature then too.
I REALLY liked Shea (Ivy's sister) and Leah (Ivy's 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.
As a reader, I couldn't 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 can't 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 doesn't always make the best decisions. I will admit that after a while Ivy's attitude toward her marriage and her family became tiresome. It wasn't overt to the point that I wanted to stop reading_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 "told" me what happened and I wasn't as present within the story as I love to be.
My favorite character as the story progressed? Elliott. And you'll have to read the book to find out why. But the way this man fought for his wife and their marriage_plus the whole Twitter thing too was pretty sweet and an obvious step outside his comfort zone.
Overall, good women's 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.
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.
This book is a great summer read. Most of the story takes place in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. The author's 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 BookSneezeÂ®.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.
Five years ago Ivy Marshall fled from Sunset Beach, NC as she broke off her engagement with Michael to marry Elliott. Disappointing her family, she has lived an estranged life in the mountains on the other side of the state. Yet, when she finds out her husband has cheated on her and her office is closing, she finds herself running again, this time back to her family. Her sister Leah was proposed to on national television and now the same station wants to capture every step of the wedding. So when Ivy's mom begs for Ivy to come home to help Leah plan the wedding and be in charge of the family tradition of the Wishing Tree, Ivy returns home pretending all is well. She discovers Michael has moved on with his life, but never really forgave her for his heartbreak. Ivy wants forgiveness and maybe even a second chance on a relationship with him. After all, her husband cheated on her! Add in an aunt in the bakery business who knows Ivy better than herself, a repentant husband with a Twitter account, a mom in a secret relationship, and a bride-to-be with cold feet, and you have Mary Beth Whalen's latest novel The Wishing Tree. This was the first story I have read by this author. Although, slow is some parts, I did eventually get into the story. Centering on family and forgiveness, it had quite a few flashback scenes. Sometimes that is hard for me to follow and connect with the characters. Zondervan, a division of Thomas Nelson provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest interview.