The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer
5/30/23; 304 pages
The Wishing Game by Meg Shaffer is a very highly
recommended mystery/family/romance novel. This is for adults who always dream of finding a golden ticket.
Lucy Hart grew up
without parents who cared and found escape through the Clock
Island book series by Jack Masterson. When she was 13 she ran
away to the real Clock Island and met Masterson. Now she is twenty-six and
a teacher's aide. She wants more than anything else to adopt
seven-year-old Christopher Lamb, but she doesn't make enough money
for proper housing or a car so she is unable to qualify to foster to adopt.
Then author Masterson announces a contest. He is inviting four contestants to Clock Island to compete in a series of games/riddles. The winner will receive the only copy of his new novel, worth a fortune, and can do what they please with it. Lucy is one of the lucky contestants. While on the island she must also deal with the curmudgeonly but handsome Hugo Reese, the illustrator of the Clock Island books.
The Wishing Game is an excellent debut novel and is
going to appeal to all Willy Wonka fans. It's
compelling, engaging and held my rapt attention from beginning to
end. It could be a YA book, or certainly appropriate for YA
readers, but as an adult reader it resonated with me too. There
are some heavy themes in the plot but they are handled circumspectly.
The narrative is mainly told through Lucy's point-of-view, with excerpts
from one of the Clock Island books interspersed between the chapters.
There are also several chapters from Hugo's perspective.
We don't have in-depth character development of everyone, but we do
have Lucy, Hugo
and Masterson developed to some degree, enough that readers will
care what happens. The ending is absolutely perfect in every way.
This is a novel about hope and the power of books in a life. The Wishing Game would be a wonderful choice for summer reading!