Published: 26 November 2018
Genres: folklore, magical realism
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New Orleans, a city of mystery and magic, of secrets and dreams, and a history drenched in both love and the deepest of heartache.
When ballet dancer Clara Campbell arrives in New Orleans, lonely and homesick, she is immediately captivated by the story of Windisle Plantation and the tragic tale that is said to have transpired beyond its gate. Legend has it that it is abandoned by all living souls, but to Clara’s great surprise, it is not a ghost she hears through the stone wall surrounding the property, but a flesh and blood man. A scarred stranger with a pain deeper and darker than the churning waters of the Mississippi river that flows beside his self-imposed prison.
The ruined man behind the wall hides himself from the world. The last thing he expects is to find a friend in the selfless girl who speaks to him through the cracks in the rock. The girl who keeps returning week after week. The girl who makes him wish for things he has long since given up on. The girl who strikes both fear and hope within his wounded heart. But there can be no future for them, no life beyond Windisle, for no one knows better than him that monsters only live in the dark.
The Wish Collector is the story of shame and triumph, of loneliness and love, and the miracle of two hearts connecting despite the strongest of barriers between them.
This was such a beautiful and emotional story that thoroughly captivated me! It is a simply exquisite contemporary version of the classic Beauty and the Beast. Clara is the light and life that Jonah needs, even if he doesn’t initially realize it. Their dynamic was almost magical, even their path together wasn’t always easy. The book’s setting also added to the magic of the story, set in New Orleans. Clara, new to the area, has heard a local legend, and she is drawn to the story. It becomes a mission, trying to unravel the whole story. The Wish Collector tells both stories, that of Clara and Jonah in the present and that of Angelina, a slave, and John, a white man, in the 1800s.
This is very much a character-driven story, with an element of magical realism. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, the story one of love, loss, forgiveness, and redemption. It is a book that is beautifully haunting, one that is deeply emotional and thought-provoking.
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