My review of “Wishing on Willows”
What can I say about Katie Ganshert and her book “Wishing on Willows”? More then I can put into words. My journey with Katie Ganshert’s books started with “Wildflower’s for Winter”. Here I found myself sacrificing sleep, and even after the clock struck two, and I was already done reading, I found myself unable to find sleep for wanting the story to keep going! I was so excited when I saw “Wishing on Willows” up for review. I was not so thrilled when I found I was only a quarter way through a book and couldn’t request another until I had finished and reviewed it! I spent the next three days working my speed read magic, all the while checking daily on the books for review, as if they were just going to yank “Wishing on Willows” off the shelf. Yes, I love my books that much!
Finally, my day came and I held my cursor over the options of request through paperback, and wait up to four weeks, or read on Kindle and have it instantly appear before me…yea I think we all know which i went with. Mostly because I had read “Wildflowers for Winter” first on Kindle anyways, and because I didn’t have the patience to wait. Of course, the night I first tuck myself under my covers and pull out my Kindle, ready to read a new book, usually ends the same as any other, me with bags under my eyes and a giant smile on my face! This book for sure left me glued til the very last virtual page. Katie Ganshert has a true gift for building characters which you can’t help but fall in love with. And as I fell for the characters in her first book, I couldn’t help from becoming glued to those in her newest book as well.
Robin Price, a young widow who we first met in “Wildflowers from Winter”, is now mostly living her dream. We find Robin with an active three year old boy, who was born not long after her husbands death, and a cafe she built alongside her best friend Bethany, a cafe which had always been the dream of her and her husband. Being a single mom, running a cafe, as well as One Life, a ministry Robin runs to help out those in town who are struggling and in need, Robin finds herself always on the go, but also very content. Although her content doesn’t last for long when rumors spread through her city of Peaks, speaking of bringing revenue to the city through the building of condominiums. Those rumors eventually come to life, in the form of Ian Mckay, a confident and persistent developer, looking to buy out Robin’s precious cafe with plans of replacing that, and three other businesses with the cities condominiums. Robin finds herself in an all to familiar place, fighting for her future and that which she loves.
Ian does not understand Robin’s attachment for her out of place cafe, though he finds her fighting spirit to be somewhat intriguing. He makes sure his encounters with Robin are to be strictly business, but can’t help when he starts losing sight of his purpose, and gaining an insight into a life he always dreamed of for himself. Robin does her best to keep a distance from Ian, and becomes angered at everyone else for being so enamored with the man who wishes to tear down her cafe, even her son Caleb can’t help but give Ian special attention. Though she fights it, she can’t help but see glimpses of the Ian everyone else sees. She soon finds a war within herself, between the feelings she gets in the pit of her stomach every time Ian comes around, and the memory of her husband Micah who she still loves ever so much. No amount of prayer seems to clarify what God is trying to tell her, as in what she should do with her life, her longing to stay faithful to the memories of Micah, and her desire to fight for the cafe that stands for everything she loves.
What neither Robin nor Ian realize is that both are fighting for a good cause, and neither wishes to hurt each other in the process. The pressure builds as Ian’s father pushes him to pull off this job, for the sake of the company he is soon to inherit and it’s employees, and Robin needing to keep her cafe alive for the sake of her family, her dream, and the One Life ministry. Both find themselves fighting between what is right in the eyes of those around them, and what is right in their hearts. With so much at stake the question comes down to, where will this journey end? Can Robin keep the memory of her husband alive, even if God’s plan means moving on? Can Ian live up to his father’s expectations, pull off this deal, without having to hurt Robin? And can he show her in the process that he isn’t the heartless man his position makes him out to be? Most of all, is there a chance they can both get what they want, and still find happiness in the process?
Katie Ganshert did an absolute amazing job with these characters. Her story’s plot, and the struggles her characters face such as loss, acceptance, trust, and moving on, were so strongly written. Her stories speak so truthfully of the reality many of us live in, it’s part of what pulls you into her stories, and refuses to let go. What really impressed me most was how true your feelings for her characters become, such as the case with Ian Mckay. You honestly can’t help but love him one moment, and the next want to shove him out the door of Robin’s cafe. Of course the next page you feel the urge to want to run after him and spend the next chapter just getting to know him more! I love the journey my imagination goes through while reading her books. Both “Wildflowers from Winter” and “Wishing on Willows” are top on my favorite reads since my review process has begun. I look forward to more books by Katie Ganshert and thank her, and God, for her amazing talent.
-I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for free in exchange for a honest review.