- Title: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes: A Novel
- Author: Susan Bishop Crispell
- Genre: Women’s Fiction; Magical Realism
- Pages: 304
- Published: September 2016 – Thomas Dunne Books
- Source: Publisher
Description: 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. (publisher)
My take: I’m a fan of novels with a dose of magical realism – think Sarah Addison Allen (one of my favorite authors). Let me tell you how happy I was to receive this book in the mail. Rachel doesn’t know where she’s going but when she ends up running out of gas in Nowhere, North Carolina she meets some interesting people.
One of those people is Catch who offers Rachel a place to stay for as long as she’d like. Catch is in her seventies and kind of cantankerous – in a charming kind of way, ha. She also possesses an ability to make secrets stay secret. So she understands how difficult it can be for Rachel who doesn’t want her own special ability.
This novel is full of interesting characters. Some are sweet, some downright rude and insensitive, and some just want to live a regular life. Rachel hopes to figure out how to fix or make peace with things that have happened. I enjoyed it all.
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes charmed me and I look forward to reading more of Susan Bishop Crispell’s books. And now I want some pie – love that book cover!