Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Simple Wishes by Lisa Dale is about a woman being forced to face her past, and that of her deceased mother, who she thought never loved her. Even though this has a pretty sweet romance with a hunky guy who loves working with wood and fixing up houses, Simple Wishes is more along the lines of Women’s Fiction, and has a big Debbie Macomber vibe. It also has a big small town feel, and some colorful secondary characters readers will enjoy. I couldn’t help but thinking this would be a great TV movie one would find on Lifetime or the Hallmark Channel. This becomes a tearjerker as the past that’s better left forgotten for the heroine, Adele is revealed. But this emotional path makes the ending all the more sweeter.
Adele is a high school dropout who left her rural hometown of Pennsylvania, and her overbearing mother as soon as she was legal. She ended up in NYC and on her feet working in an art gallery. She settled in the big city pretty well, but eventually everything was taken away from her- her job, her apartment and the man she had a relationship with who used her. With no other option, she returns home after she finds out her mother died and willed her old house to Adele.
This isn’t the homecoming Adele was expecting. She never thought she would return home, or even see her mother again. She feels lost and ashamed because she is back to square one. But what she doesn’t count on is the kindness of strangers. She makes friend with an older couple, Al and Beatrice, who’s granddaughter Kayleigh stays with them on the weekends in or to keep an eye out on her because she’s rebelling, and her mother only cares about herself, or so Kayleigh says. Then there is “Hermit Jay”, who really isn’t a hermit. Jay is an artist who also lived in NYC, but gave it up, and now lives a simple lifestyle, even though he still works on his art that almost made him a star. Adele thinks she’ll only be home for a short time until to lick her wounds, and hopefully find a new job back in NYC. But first she wants to find out who her mother really was, and why she was estranged from her sister Christine, Adele’s aunt.
Adele becomes close with Beatrice, who gave up her life in Korean for a life with Al. She also has secrets, like Adele’s mother she feels are better left unknown. But Adele wants to know what happened to her father she never met, and why her mother suffocated Adele’s dreams. Jay is also an issue because she’s attracted to him, and she wouldn’t mind a fling, but he wants more. Kayleigh looks up to Adele for advice, and an adorable mutt comes around wanting a home with Adele. Can Adele make peace with her mother, and embrace a new life back where she started and once wanted to escape, especially now with Jay, who wants to make her happy and give her the world?
Simple Wishes has a lot going on in these pages, but it’s a very character driven story. Adele has a vibrant personality, although she is scarred by her relationship with her mother, and her actions that forced her to run to NYC. Jay is dreamy, and Adele’s reward for facing things head on, even though she makes him suffer for her love. His understanding and patience is a thing of beauty. He’s an A+ hero.
As Adele unravels her mother’s past, you’ll be riveted. Lisa Dale did a great job with this mystery element. Also the second story about Beatrice and her motherly advice to Adele was a nice touch, and added an extra special dimension to the story.
Simple Wishes is a great story about redemption, forgiveness and how the power of love can set one free from the demons that chase them.