I recently read Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert, sent to me by WaterBrook/Multnomah for review.
Wishing on Willows is the story of Robin Price, a young widow with a 3 year old son. Before her husband died, they shared a dream to open a cafe in small town Peaks, Iowa, and after his death, she has achieved that dream. Robin loves that cafe, and all it represents--the lasting legacy of the love of her life, but it's struggling. Robin runs the cafe more like a ministry than a business and rarely turns a profit.
Developer Ian McKay shows up in town one day with a plan to tear down her beloved cafe and an important town ministry to build condos. Ian has strong reasons for wanting the deal to go through, while Robin has equally strong reasons for not wanting to let the cafe go. While Robin has obvious hurt and complications in her life, Ian is harboring hurt in his past as well, and is on a mission to push this project through. He is a man with something to prove.
This book is excellent. It's so artfully written and real, compelling, and almost impossible to put down. Katie Ganshert's characters are so real, I felt like I knew them, like I could just pop in to the Willow Tree Cafe for a cup of chocolate, and I found myself grieving with Robin and wondering how she could stand in the face of all that had happened.
Katie Ganshert manages to portray beautifully the pain we bring on ourselves when we try to struggle on when our Heavenly Father wants to take the load from our shoulders. She shows how our lives can turn out to be immeasurably more than we imagine, if we just allow God to direct them instead of trying to do things our own way.
I knew fairly early on how this book would end, but I couldn't picture how it would come to pass, so I had to keep reading to find out--there was just the right amount of literary suspense. Just like in our own lives as Christ followers, we know how it all ends, but we still need to show up and live our lives to find out how we get there, and all the wonderful twists and turns in between.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the WaterBrook/Multnomah Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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