The Wish by Nicholas Sparks
1996 was the year that changed everything for Maggie Dawes. Sent away at sixteen to live with an aunt she barely knew in Ocracoke, a remote village on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, she could think only of the friends and family she left behind . . . until she meets Bryce Trickett, one of the few teenagers on the island. Handsome, genuine, and newly admitted to West Point, Bryce gradually shows her how much there is to love about the wind-swept beach town—and introduces her to photography, a passion that will define the rest of her life.
By 2019, Maggie is a renowned travel photographer. She splits her time between running a successful gallery in New York and photographing remote locations around the world. But this year she is unexpectedly grounded over Christmas, struggling to come to terms with a sobering medical diagnosis. Increasingly dependent on a young assistant, she finds herself becoming close to him.
As they count down the last days of the season together, she begins to tell him the story of another Christmas, decades earlier—and the love that set her on a course she never could have imagined.
Maggie Dawes made a mistake—a mistake that turned her teenage life upside down. Her parents made the difficult decision to send her away to Ocracoke, North Carolina to live with her aunt. Here on this island she feels isolated and misses her life back home. After sulking around day after day, her aunt recommends she go out and try to make some friends. She happens to meet a boy named Bryce who’s similar in age and takes interest in her. He begins tutoring her because she struggles with her schoolwork. Bryce also teaches Maggie all about photography, but most importantly, he doesn’t judge her for her past mistakes. He shows her that nobody’s perfect and that she deserves to be loved.
Fast forward to 2019 with Maggie now in her 30s. She has become a popular travel photographer and shares her images at her very own gallery in New York. She also has a large online presence from creating videos on YouTube and maintaining a successful blog. When Maggie is stricken with a life-threatening disease, she turns to the internet to share her treatment and progress. Here she gets plenty of support, but during her weakest moments, she now needs assistance at the gallery. A young man, Mark Price, shows interest in the job. As Maggie and Mark get to know one another, Maggie reminisces and shares her life story with Mark.
This story grabbed me by the heartstrings, similar to some of this author’s previous novels like The Notebook and The Best of Me. I was hooked from the beginning.
Nicholas Sparks has a way of writing characters that are incredibly easy to latch on to. There weren’t many characters to dislike in this book. While I didn’t love Maggie’s parents, they still had likable qualities. Maggie’s character felt genuine, and seeing her growth throughout the book was one of my favorite aspects. She’s caring and honest. I consistently related to her with everything she was going through in this story. Even though the decisions she made when she was younger weren’t what I wanted them to be, I was accepting of it all in the end. The heart of this story is the love between Maggie and Bryce as teens, but it’s woven seamlessly with Maggie’s present-day perspective.
Bryce was also a favorite character. He’s unbelievably mature for his age and becomes a huge support person for Maggie. Not only is Bryce attractive—he’s kind, charming, intelligent, and inspiring. Along with Maggie’s aunt, It’s wonderful how impactful both of them are in this story. Aunt Linda, a previous nun, is full of wisdom to steer Maggie toward healing.
“It’s important to remember that none of us is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. All we can do is try to be the best version of ourselves as we move forward. In this case, if he asks, you can tell the truth, or you can lie. I suppose it comes down to the kind of person you want to see when you look in the mirror.”
It took me by surprise that there wasn’t any romance in this book. I’ve come to expect it in books by Nicholas Sparks; although, it certainly didn’t need any. The times in this story occur around Christmas, but the book isn’t overly Christmassy at all. Readers may want to be aware that it does deal with a sick person living with cancer. It’s also a book with the power to make you bawl your eyes out like a baby, which is exactly what I did.
Nicholas Sparks is a talented storyteller and remains one of my favorite authors today. He still duped me with the ending of this book. My overall rating for The Wish is 5*****.
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing (September 28, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1538728621
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538728628
Thanks for reading my review of The Wish. Have you read this book? What are some of your favorite books by Nicholas Sparks? Let’s chat!