This is a way overdue review but I'm finally here reviewing Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert. The book is a sequel to Wildflowers from Winter (which I reviewed last year).
Back cover summary
A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa, she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.
So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.
As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.
With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances.
Why I would pick this book up again
Oh wow. Can I just say this was a really great read and hope you believe me? Haha. Seriously, from the writing to the story, to the characters and the themes intricately weaved in the book, this sequel by Katie Ganshert is just as great as her first book!
While the first book, Wildflowers from Winter, focused on Bethany Quinn and Evan Price's story, this sequel focuses on Robin Price. In the fierce conflict that surrounded the café, it was really hard to take sides between Robin and Ian McKay. They were both characters who were hurting and who had something at stake. I loved how Ian originally looked like the "bad guy" but how the reader's opinion of him can drastically change. I guess the piont of views in the story generally made it hard to take sides.
I liked how both characters were believers and how we didn't have to wait for the other to see the light. I loved how in all the confusion, in the midst of chaos, Robin remembered God.
Favorite phrase/passage from the book:
I enjoyed a lot of passages in this book but one that's really hard to forget is when, faced with a crowd, Ian speaks 4 words into the microhone. (I can't say any more without spoiling the book!).
The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey ~ Deut. 1:6-7 NKJV
What I didn't like
I didn't like Amanda (who was a secondary character) much. I liked her a lot at the beginning of the book but she soon grew to be very annoying.
Why I recommend this book
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. It takes a little bit to get into it and both Robin and Ian's strong-headedness makes you want to scream "talk to each other already!" :) BUT it truly is a lovely book with an amazing theme on healing, letting go and trusting God's own plans for our lives.
I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
Have you read this book? If so, what did you like/not like? If not, would you?