February 17, 2017

Review: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

I randomly picked this one off the shelf at the library one day and the synopsis intrigued me enough to take it home. I am ever so glad I did! The idea behind the story is certainly an interesting one and from the first pages to the final chapter, I was sucked into Rachel's world completely. From Rachel herself, to Ashe, Mary Beth, Everley, and especially Catch, I fell in love with all the characters and the way they interact with one another. As for the town of Nowhere, NC itself, it seems a pretty nice place to be! :)

We get dropped into Rachel's world and immediately I was curious how this wishes-coming-true bit was going to work. With such an unusual premise as that, I wondered if and when I'd get all my answers. Turns out Ms. Crispell gives us just enough information to understand what's happening, yet leaves much up to our imaginations. Which is the perfect combo! It's not really explained how Rachel got her gift, but the focus is on the important bits of how she is reacting to it and using it. She has to learn to trust herself, and trust is never easy when you've been hurt in the past. But that's all part of her journey and the town does its best to make sure she learns what she needs to grow.

I loved all the magical realism presented here actually. Because Rachel's not the only one with a gift. Catch and her pies are a needful influence on Rachel and she becomes a mentor of sorts for her. The two women become close friends and learn to trust in and open up to each other. I loved watching them work in sync in the kitchen making those yummy-sounding pies! I actually spent a great deal of this book salivating over all those delicious smells and wonderful tastes. Ms. Crispell clearly knows her way around pie! :) But Catch isn't the only one who becomes important to Rachel and the circle of friends that she creates around her warmed my heart. She has spent so many years holding herself back and watching her become more confident and less fearful is beautiful to see.

Then there's Ashe. Ah, the chemistry between those two! They are both so incredibly aware of the other any time they're close and watching as they circle around, trying to figure this attraction out, just melted my heart. I will say there are a couple bits that bothered me about their relationship, but it's more a personal preference, so I overlooked it and simply enjoyed their conversations and interactions. They really are pretty adorable together!

Take the quirky characters and the friendships that form between them, add in all the interesting bits about wishes and pies, and you end up with a story that made me laugh several times, swoon over the cute, and ultimately thoroughly enjoy every minute spent in Nowhere.

"Don’t let some stupid what if get in the way of enjoying a little slice of happiness."
"I’ve come to realize that life is much more fun if you think anything’s possible."


  1. I love randomly grabbing a book at the library that turns out to be a gem! The cover on this one is very pretty.

  2. This sounds really cute! Adding it to my to-read list.


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