Book Talk: What You Wish For: A Novel by Katherine Center
“ The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth.”
About the Book
Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living.
But she wasn’t always that way.Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.
But he wasn’t always that way.
And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before―at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him―but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school―and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.
As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love―which is the riskiest move of all.
With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.
Reviews and What Readers Say
“ What You Wish For is a bona fide explosion of happiness packaged in book form. A compassionate story of grief and resilience, What You Wish For is also a vital reminder that joy is not just something that happens to us but also something we have the power to choose. As Max always told Sam, we must “never miss a chance to celebrate,” even when things get tough. Center has created for her readers a quirky confection that celebrates life in all its imperfect glory and delivers a much-needed dose of optimism."
“ [A] fast-paced tale steeped with whimsical plot points. This is one for the beach bag."
“ The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth."
“ This charming, often lighthearted novel touches on serious issues and celebrates the power of joy to trump fear and despair.” —People
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Katherine Center is the author of several novels about love and family: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, and Real Simple―as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her, CRUSH, and My Parents Were Awesome. Katherine is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children.