“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.”—Kirkus (starred review)
From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.
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.
Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away and the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), as well as five other bittersweet comic novels. She writes about how we fall down—and how we get back up. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy, and her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, and InTouch, among others. Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her fun husband, two sweet kids, and fluffy-but-fierce dog.
Sam Cassidy loves her job as librarian in the cute and eccentric elementary school she ran to after falling for a fellow teacher at her previous school. The staff are the best and Principal Max and his wife, Babette, accepted her like a daughter.
Then Max died and everything changed.
Babette’s neurotic son-in-law becomes head of the board and immediately appoints a new principal about as different from Max as it was possible to be- oh, yeah, he’s also the man Sam had fallen for in her previous life.
But this Duncan Carpenter wasn’t anything like the funny, sweet guy she remembered. This Duncan Carpenter wanted to bleed every drop of personality out of their precious school. He installed security gates, locks, metal detectors, and painted over their bright colorful artwork, turning their whole world gray.
He had to go.
Then Sam learned Duncan’s deepest, darkest secret and suddenly getting rid of him became so much harder to do.
This is my first book by this author and I am so glad I picked it up! Filled with insightful, heart-wrenching moments it will live on in your thoughts for a long time after turning the last page. I will definitely be reading more from Katherine Center.
“I voluntarily read an ARC of this book which was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.”