2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release · romance

New Release Book Review: The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Wish

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Published: September 28th 2021

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 400

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4.5 stars

The New York Times number one bestselling author Nicholas Sparks is back with his most moving and uplifting love story yet – what are you wishing for this Christmas?

If you had one wish…

Maggie hasn’t told this story in years. More than two decades ago, she fell in love. She was sixteen and far from home, waiting to give her baby up for adoption. Bryce showed Maggie how to take photographs and he didn’t judge her for the way her belly swelled under her jumper. They had the perfect first kiss. Theirs was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.

Now, as Maggie sits by the Christmas tree in her gallery telling her story, surrounded by the photographs that made her famous – the photographs Bryce never saw – her new gallery assistant asks her a question. If she had one wish, what would she wish for this Christmas?

Maggie always thought she knew the answer to that question. But before she can say ‘I’d go back to that winter with Bryce’, she stops herself. It is all she has ever wanted but suddenly here, on this dark night under the twinkling stars, there is something else she wants. She wants to find her baby.

… what would you wish for?

A heart-wrenching story about discovery and loss, The Wish is a reminder that time with those precious to us is the greatest gift of all.

Review:

“But never forget that love is always stronger than fear. Love saved me, and I know it will save you, too.”

These wise words have been taken directly from The Wish, penned by the king of romance fiction, Nicholas Sparks. A book that covers you in love, compassion, fate, friendships and connection, The Wish represents a wonderful addition to the Nicholas Sparks collection.

Following the heart-breaking life of lead protagonist Maggie Dawes, The Wish unfolds over two timelines, over two decades apart.  Twenty years ago, the heroine of this tale found herself in a difficult predicament. At age just sixteen Maggie discovers she is pregnant and is consequently sent away to live with her aunt until she has the baby.  Maggie and her parents have arranged to have the baby adopted as soon as it is born, leaving this teenager with the chance to return to her old life. But when Maggie settles into her temporary home in Ocracoke, a remote village off North Carolina, she encounters a young man who will change her life forever. Bryce is from a local family in Ocracoke and he teaches Maggie a thing or two about photography and life. When this gentle friendship blossoms into an unforgettable love story, Maggie and Bryce must adjust their life plans to accommodate their strong feelings for one another. Now twenty years later, Maggie finds herself thinking more and more about her time as a teenager stuck in Ocracoke. Although Maggie has achieved great success in the photography world, nothing compares to the time she spent under her aunt’s care with Bryce. What does Maggie truly want in life and will she achieve it before time runs out?

Nicholas Sparks has been a constant presence in my reading life for many years now. Ever since I discovered The Notebook I have continually sought out each new release this master of contemporary romance has published. In September 2021, Sparks published his latest novel with Hachette Australia. The Wish is another incredible love story from this kind hearted writer. Full of joy and sadness, along with love and overwhelming personal pain, The Wish is a book that came to me at just the right time.  I loved it.

Sparks relays his latest triumph across two different periods in time, in two contrasted settings. In Manhattan in 2019, we meet a talented photographer named Maggie who issued is with the earth-shattering news that she has stage IV cancer. Following this shock diagnosis, Maggie is on borrowed time. As a result Maggie has a strong desire to return to a place from her past. Linking back to Maggie’s memorable past chapter, a second storyline emerges. We meet Maggie again, but this time as a teenager. This version of Maggie is marooned in the remote village of Ocracoke, pregnant and cast off by her family. Despite some initial resentment and resistance, this small window of time proves to be life changing for Maggie. It is in Ocracoke that Maggie meets fellow young resident Bryce, who changes her life forever. As always Sparks explores the setbacks, problems and issues to overcome in burgeoning relationships and this was the case in his latest novel. With plenty of high emotions, beating hearts and feelings to express, The Wish is a tale that will take you to some great emotional heights.

Sparks captures the gentle beauty of Ocracoke, a small village in North Carolina extremely well. This tight knit community has had its fair share of ups and downs. With isolation and the weather impacting this tiny town, Sparks manages to capture the true essence of this township. In contrast, Manhattan in the year 2019 is clearly presented on the pages of The Wish. I felt like I was standing right next to Maggie in both locations, thanks to the author’s most giving prose.

The romance depicted in The Wish is just perfect. I loved this tentative friendship that blossomed into something much more life changing. I adored Bryce, he was a fantastic young man, almost too good to be true! Meanwhile, I sympathised with Maggie and her life situation in both time periods. Each Maggie storyline really cut deep for me. These two leads were well matched in my eyes and I’m pleased I got to know both leads thanks to this embracing new tale from Nicholas Sparks.

There is probably a lot more I can say about The Wish. I especially loved the focus on fully appreciating the precious moments and sense of time spent with loved ones as being more important than anything else. On the whole I absolutely adored this book. The Wish was the perfect novel to begin my summer school holiday break reading agenda. My only issue was a predictable element to one fairly major plot twist, but other than that I responded well to The Wish. A solid 4 and half stars from me. I can’t wait for the next Nicholas Sparks book and film adaptation.

The Wish by Nicholas Sparks is published by Hachette Australia on September 28th 2021. $32.99.

https://www.hachette.com.au/nicholas-sparks/the-wish


*Thanks is extended to Hachette Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.


To learn more about the author of The Wish, Nicholas Sparks, visit here.

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