What You Wish For by Katherine Center


“Joy is an antidote to fear. To anger. To boredom. To sorrow.”

In What You Wish For by Katherine Center, elementary school librarian Sam Casey carries emotional scars from childhood. Sam carries a secret, afraid anyone she grows close to her will abandon her – as her father did when she was 8.

When tragedy strikes and a new principal is assigned to her school, Sam’s world turns upside down. Excited at the prospect of her happy- go- lucky, fun loving former crush Duncan joining the staff, she is crushed when he arrives. Stiff and all business, Duncan immediately orders locks on the school gates, metal detectors on the doors, bars on the windows, and all the walls painted gray.

What happened to change him so drastically? Could she and the rest of the staff remind him of the fun, caring teacher he used to be – before he completely ruins their school?

I have enjoyed author Katherine Center’s other books and had high expectations for What You Wish For. I was not disappointed.

Much like her last novel, Things You Save In A Fire, Center has addressed sensitive real life issues and wrapped them in an lovely easy to read novel.

I particularly enjoy her story telling style.
Written in first person, reading her stories are very much like sitting down with a friend while she catches you up over coffee. With this story, maybe a couple glasses of wine!

The overwhelming message in this book is that joy is the answer. There may problems in the world, tragedy in our lives, but we have a choice. We can sink into it, or fight it by bringing joy into our lives. Joy rarely shows up on it’s own. It’s a choice we have to actively pursue, but so worth it when we do.

I think this is a very timely message for our current reality. (2020 COVID-19 pandemic)

I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking a book addressing real life topics wrapped in a sweet story of flawed people coming together to support one another to find happiness, joy.

What You Wish For
Katherine Center
St. Martin’s Press
July 2020


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