Saturday, July 25, 2020

My Review: What the Heart Wants

What the Heart Wants: A Novel (The Wish Series Book 1) by [Audrey Carlan]

About the Book:

“Fly free.”

For ten years those words, written on pink parchment paper in her mother’s beautiful handwriting, have been Suda Kaye Ross’s guiding star. Every year on her birthday, Suda Kaye opens another of the letters her mother penned before she passed, heeding the advice inside as she fills her life with experiences. From Italy to Australia, from Rio to Russia, she’s slaked her wanderlust. And then, on her twenty-eighth birthday, she opens the letter that sends her home.

Returning to Colorado means confronting everything—and everyone—she left behind, including her cherished sister, Evie, and her first love, Camden Bryant. Suda Kaye and Cam spent four years and one unforgettable night together. Given the way she ran out on him, it’s no surprise that he’s wary, resentful…and engaged to someone else. Evie, hardworking and überresponsible, just wants her sister to put down roots at last.

For Evie’s sake, and her own, Suda Kaye is trying to build a new life, all the while wondering whether it’s too late to come back home—or if the most important part of her never really left.

My Comments:

Once upon a time it was my dream to "fly free", to go from place to place leaving no roots behind, to see the world and experience adventure.  I went off to college rather than staying within a couple of hours of home  After college I moved from Mississippi where my family lived to New Orleans--not a huge distance, but definitely a new existence.  I saw it as a temporary step--someplace I'd get a couple of years of teaching experience before landing a job in an overseas school.  Well, turns out that teaching was not my vocation, so I headed to Atlanta to go back to school.  After three months there, I chose to return to New Orleans.  I was tired of starting over.  Then I married a native New Orleanian and I knew that meant I wasn't going anywhere, except on vacation.  

Suda Kaye had itchy feet, and encouraged by the letters written by her mother during her mother's final illness, Suda Kaye has been around the world, and has been with a variety of men, none of whom could hold a candle to her first love.  Her mom's most recent note, as stated above, sent her home, home to where those who had loved her before still love  her but were hurt by her long absence.  

With well-drawn characters, Audrey Carlan shows that you can go home again.  She also shows how living your dream isn't necessarily the best idea.  While you could say that it is a good thing Suda Kaye's mother lived her dream while she was young, she did so at the expense of two little girls who needed her to be there, and I have to wonder whether, while laying on her premature deathbed that mother felt her life was well-lived.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade: B+

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