There's nothing like a good story about love lost and then love found to get the heart going. SUMMER OF TWO WISHES by Julia London was heart wrenching, yes, heart-wrenching from the very first page. A beautiful story about love and life, London created a masterpiece in this beautiful story. If you are a romance fan of any kind, I highly suggest SUMMER OF TWO WISHES. This is the kind of book that keeps you up at night wondering about the characters until you finally get a chance to go back to the book and dive back into the world.
We've seen the story before. A woman is married to her true love, he goes away to war and she gets word that he has died there. Practically dead from grief, she finally manages to find solace in the arms of another man and eventually marries him. Suddenly her first love is back, miraculously returned from the grave. What's a girl to do when she's faced with two men, both of whom she loves just as desperately as she needs the air?
Macy has just started to pull her life together. She's barely crawling out of the dark hole that she's been hiding under and finding joy in her new husband Wyatt when Finn returns. Now, overjoyed at his return she's faced with the difficult decision of breaking someone's heart. Whether it's Finn or Wyatt, one thing is for sure; her heart is going to be a casualty as well.
If you couldn't already tell, I loved SUMMER OF TWO WISHES. Admittedly, I was a little reserved about reading the book seeing as how the general premise of the story has been used fairly often. Jennifer Haymore's A Hint of Wicked, the movies Pearl Harbor, Three For the Show, and Too Many Husbands all follow the same idea although each puts a great spin on it. I'm pleased to say that my concerns were wasted as London did an excellent job putting her own twists and turns on the idea, creating an intriguing and suspenseful plot.
Usually I'm able to sit here and type fairly quickly, telling you what I loved or didn't love about a book. In this case, I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what it was that made the book so great because I got so distracted by the story that I never took the time to stop and think, "Oh yeah, this is good." Maybe that's part of what I love. I think that if I really had to pick one thing, it would be the way that London fills the pages with tension. Even something as simple as preparing for a luncheon becomes filled with tension and pulls the reader along. Tension is a wonderful ally to an author if used correctly. It makes the book addicting; it makes you want to read more and keeps you turning the pages. London certainly mastered that. I actually had to convince myself pretty hard that it was not a good idea to take my book to the dinner table with me; I was just that into it.
Another great aspect of SUMMER OF TWO WISHES, just as in many great books, is the characters. London has created characters with a good deal of depth that add layers to the book and give us something to ponder. More than that, however, she has created characters where the reader has to stop and consider who he or she wants the hero to be. That surprised me. I expected a clear-cut idea of who I wanted Macy to end up with, but a quarter of the way through the book I no longer could decide. Both Finn and Wyatt had their good points, but more importantly, each had their flaws. Giving these two guys their own set of flaws really helped to make the story so much more realistic. No longer were we reading a piece of fiction dreamed up in someone's head. Now we were simply reading a retelling of a story that really happened, waiting for the characters to walk through the front door and begin acting it out.
Fair warning time: SUMMER OF TWO WISHES does have adult themes and adult scenes. I would give it a sensuality rating of four out of five.
SUMMER OF TWO WISHES definitely deserves top marks. The characters were great, the pacing was really nice, and it completely captivated me. It's not every day that we get a good Romance with its own fair share of suspense and London gave us just that. I would highly recommend this book to any Romance lover and might even suggest that lovers of any sort of Drama book pick this one up as well. The main plot and subplots are intricate and enough to keep you wanting to go back for more long after you've turned the last page.