|"First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros" is the first paragraph (or two) of a book being read|
now or in the future and is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. "Teaser Tuesday" from Books and
a Beat asks for a random line or two from anywhere in the book currently being read.
26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown―and her past―behind for good.
Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina―also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.
As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love―and her chance at happiness―all over again.
Wow. Susan Bishop Crispell absolutely knocked my socks off with The Secret Ingredient of Wishes. No, she didn't knock my socks off. She ripped them off my feet, slapped me around with them a bit, then lovingly replaced them with even cozier and fuzzier socks and tucked me in under the blankets with a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. That's far more accurate.
As soon as I read the description on Netgalley I knew that I would need to read it. I immediately got the same warm and fuzzy feeling that I get from rewatching Pushing Daisies.
This is mostly Rachel's story. Poor Rachel who can grant wishes just by reading them off of magical slips of paper that appear once the wish has been made -- including her own. When she was young she made a wish that ended up destroying her family and she vowed to never grant another one. It isn't that easy, though, since she couldn't always avoid reading the little slips. When her goddaughter makes a birthday wish that is accidentally granted (in an oh-so-comical way), Rachel packs her car and runs as far as she can go -- and ends up nowhere.
Actually, she ends up IN Nowhere, North Carolina -- "home of the world's largest lost and found."
She's taken in by Catch, an elderly spitfire who can bind secrets into pies and have them forgotten when eaten. And everyone knows and accepts it. It's just one of the quirks of Nowhere.
Life in Nowhere is ... different. It's funny and sad and sweet. It's, for lack of a better word, magical. More than once I had to wipe a tear from my eye from laughing so hard only to turn the page and wipe another one away in empathy. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions. Just as Rachel finds something resembling happiness she hits a sharp turn. Over. And. Over. And through it all she has the support of Catch, her best friend back in Knoxville, her new friend/boss, and the hunky backyard neighbor.
Catch absolutely made this book for me with her spunk and her advice and her nicknames and the way she rides the emotional roller coaster of life -- embracing the highs and lows and encouraging those around her to do likewise.
And she makes the most amazing sounding pies!
I'm not sure if this is going to be our only visit to Nowhere, but I hope that it isn't. It stands on its own beautifully but could also be the catalyst for an amazing series.
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is being published on September 6, 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books (an offshoot of St Martin's Press). I received my copy from the publishers for free via NetGalley ... although I'm seriously considering purchasing a hardcover copy anyway. I enjoyed it that much.