High praise for Beth K. VogtÃ¢â¬â¢s Wish You Were Here
May 1, 2012
Maple Grove, MN
Age: Over 65
Since I've been married but am now divorced, reading romance is hard for meÃ¢â¬âsomething I avoid as it reminds me what I'm not. But I love Beth's nonfiction so wanted to read her first novel.
Wow! I love WYWH. Thank you, Beth, for avoiding straight sticky romance in favor of tracking two people healthily growing into friendship and building a relationship based on truly knowing each other and established on so much sound truth. I sense much of this hard-won wisdom comes from your own life and I applaud. In fact, this great book is anointed, a word I reserve for highest things, as it seeks truth and the validation of knowing self and relating to God, as its heroine runs from many things in life besides the wrong groom.
My second copy of WYWH is on order; I can't wait to give it to friends.
When I received my advanced copy of Beth Vogt's debut fiction novel, I was working on a to-do list as long as my arm, including college finals. With absolutely NO time for pleasure reading, I set the book aside. One night as I settled into bed, I saw the book on my nightstand and thought I'd read just a couple pages before switching off the light.
Four hours later, I was half way through the book. I would've stayed up all night reading it if I could've kept my eyes open one more minute! The next day I couldn't study until I'd finished the book because the story was so compelling. My thoughts kept drifting to Allison, Daniel, and Seth.
It's a wonderful twist on the old love triangle: a runaway bride, two brothers vying for the love of the same woman, and llamas. In my opinion, this is masterful storytelling. I went from laughing, to crying, to holding my breath, and then back to laughing. In addition, the author tackles some tough issues with tenderness and honesty, and reminds readers God really does have a plan for our lives.
I highly recommend this novel--it's so good I risked failing a college final to finish it!!
(Disclosure: I was given an advanced copy of this book by the publisher and asked to share my honest opinion with others. My review reflects my genuine personal opinion of this book.)
With realistic, quirky characters and plenty of obstacles, Wish You Were Here is both tension-tight and romance-light, a faith-inspiring romance that both entertains and makes you think.
The lives of Allison, Seth and Daniel intersect in a romantic triangle as each with their own conflicting desires and goals face the outcome of their misguided decisions. All three characters show us their inner struggles in a way that makes us root for each one in spite of their flawsÃ¢â¬ânot easy for a novelist to do.
The story raises some good questions. One point that stood out to me was how sometimes we can assume a tough challenge before us is automatically a challenge we are meant to face. Aunt Rita's question to Allison: Is the hardest thing always the right thing? makes me think of times we doubt the validity of our fears or true feelings. Maybe we, like Allison, have assumed a hard path was the "right" path simply because it was a challenge.
Another question this story asks: how long would you work to keep from rocking the boat before you have the guts to ask God if you've been in the wrong boat all along? What if the courage you've been mustering up to do the "right thing" isn't courage at all, but fear of the unknown?
Allison is an interesting character who has learned to control the manageable because deep down, she is afraid to take real control of her life and discover the destiny she was meant for. She shows us what might happen when we take control instead of seeking God's plan for us and the strength he gives us to fulfill it.
I love how this story encourages us to find out who we are meant to be, even if it means finding the courage to be honest with ourselves.
Wish You Were Here is a lovely and provocative blend of humor, dilemma, and romance that will keep you reading through to a very rewarding ending.
For Allison Denman it seems like she lost control of her life along the way. Now it seems without realizing it that she has managed to find a guy that is a take charge kind of guy. He has planned everything since meeting her in high school from picking out her prom dress to deciding all the plans for their wedding including what type of flowers should be in her bouquet.
Now just five days before the wedding, she's beginning to wonder why she feels so apprehensive about the wedding. Is Seth the man for her? She's spent the last six years dating him. His everything she could ever want in a husband, handsome, wealthy, organized and in charge. At some point she has even told him she loved him along the way, but now she's not so sure and with wedding plans already in full swing, how does one get out of this mess?
Well obviously kissing the wrong man wasn't the way to get things started, and the worst part is that he's Seth's brother. The one who has faithfully sent her postcards from every place he's ever traveled as a friend. Yet, is there more behind all those "wish you were here" post cards, Daniels sent all these years. Is that the reason she felt comfortable kissing him back? Now how can she face him just days before the wedding. Will there even be a wedding? How can she possibly sort out all her mixed up feelings?
Is it like her best friend Meghan mentioned that when you marry, you shouldn't have any secrets between you and your future husband? Well, it seems like not mentioning the kissing part is just one of the deeper secrets Allison is keeping locked up inside. She has put God on the back burner for so long, it seems like it might be too late to seek His help in this issue or is it?
In the latest novel Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt, we see what happens when you try and keep things a secret, even from the person you are suppose to marry and worse yet, from God. In this wonderful romantic fiction we see how important trust and honesty is in all our relationships from the ones we have with God as well as the ones we have with our friends and spouses. Beth gives the readers really insight into some deeper issues that Allison has and she is trying to manage in her own way instead of seeking some professional help.
I received Wish You Were Here by Beth K. Vogt compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster for my honest review and LOVED it. Similar to The Runaway Bride, which is talked about between Allison and Meghan in this one, it shows that we have to be honest with everyone no matter whose feelings may get hurt along the way. Some secrets are never meant to be hidden in the dark shadows. No matter how bad you think things are, running away from them only delays the inevitable. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend this to your hopeful romance fans everywhere.
I enjoyed taking the journey with Allison from the first time I met her in her wedding dress to the very last page. I hated to put the book down, because Beth Vogt created characters I wanted to cheer onto success and keep in my life. There are several exciting surprises throughout the book. This story is worth sharing with friends. Discussion questions for a reading group and an author Q & A are included. I wish I could read more about Allison and her adventures. I received an advance copy of the book.