Wish Come True
Eileen Goudge
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Buy *Wish Come True: A Carson Springs Novel* online

Wish Come True: A Carson Springs Novel
Eileen Goudge
416 pages
March 2004
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Anna Vincenzi has spent most of her life in the shadow of her celebrity sister, Monica, and always thought she had no other place to be. Overweight and rather plain next to her sister, Anna doesn’t see many options other than working for Monica, who is in a wheelchair following an accident, and caring for their mother, who suffers from dementia.

Then one day Anna simply gets tired of that life, tired of Monica’s drinking and her unreasonable belief that Anna should be happy because at least she can walk. “Happy? Anna wondered now how long it had been since she’d felt anything more than glimmers of contentment here and there.”

That evening, as she settles into her favorite chair with a bowl of ice cream, she realizes she loathes her overweight body. She doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life having people look at her with pity, “until it edged over into disgust…she knew it was now or never. If she didn’t act quickly the moment would pass and with it any chance of a future.”

The strength to control her eating gives Anna the power to confront Monica about her drinking, although she never dreams that she will need that strength for something much more critical.Just a few weeks later, Monica is found dead, floating in her pool, and Anna is arrested for her murder.

Fans of the Carson Springs novels (including Taste of Honey, One Last Dance and Blessing in Disguise) may enjoy revisiting that fictional town with a host of characters who support Anna through this trauma, but a newcomer to the series may be overwhelmed with the sheer number of supporting characters. Their stories don’t always connect gracefully to the main plot, and the tale would have been better had it focused more on finding out how Monica died and how Anna holds together through it all.

Wish Come True is a book of great contrasts. The characterizations of Anna and Marc, the therapist she meets at the rehab center, are drawn with a deft pen, but Monica is too much the bitch and some of the minor characters are too "nice" to ring true. The narrative also fluctuates between lovely prose and cliché-riddled passages. The disparity between such vivid descriptions as “…slacks and blouses were hung according to color, the lighter shades graduating like paint strips to the darker hues.” and lame clichés is jarring. But Eileen Goudge has proven herself to be a very capable writer, and readers who can ignore the weaker points will relate to Anna and her struggle to take charge of her life.

© 2003 by Maryann Miller for Curled Up With a Good Book

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