Author: John Shors
ISBN: 978-0-541-23113-0
Publisher: New American Library – Penguin

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On the eve of his birthday, Ian finds a letter tucked inside a present left to him by his deceased wife Kate. In the letter Kate makes a final request to Ian, asking that he take their daughter Mattie on the trip across Asia that they had always planned to take on their fifteenth anniversary, revisiting the places where their love first bloomed and grew. Still feeling the immense pain at the loss of his wife, Ian reluctantly agrees to take their daughter Mattie on the journey in honor of her memory and out of utter love and devotion. The trip guides father and daughter from America to Nepal, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Egypt. Each country holds healing to the past and hopes for the future as Ian and Mattie follow Kate’s guidance and learn through her letters the power of love, beauty and suffering, healing and rebirth. It is a discovery that will lead them to their future and enable father and daughter to learn the lessons Kate intended to show them before her death, finding healing, love and re-assuring peace.

The Wishing Trees is a truly poignant novel of ultimate love, loss and healing. Ian and Mattie’s journey
is written at a slow pace, enabling and urging the reader to develop a deep connection and understanding of the characters. Likewise, the characters are experiencing a journey and connection of their own that I felt the author intended the reader to also experience. The pace is set for the full impact of what the characters are learning through Kate, self discovery, each other and the world around them. The novel is descriptive in nature which made me feel as if I was visiting each country with Ian and Mattie. I felt I was seeing each place through two different sets of eyes. One set was experienced and re-visiting each place full of past memories while the other was a young, fresh and new discovering pair, learning the beauty and suffering that life holds. It was a truly moving novel and I feel enlightened after reading it.

The Wishing Trees is in essence a life affirming novel that reaches out and approaches the topic of death and loss with open eyes and a healing guidance. In each country Ian and Mattie discover different life styles, people and views on death. They are enlightened to the world beyond them which enables them to feel the presence of Kate who travels with them in spirit and through her letters. I highly recommend this novel. Be prepared to take your time, it is not a novel to rush through, but is best read with ease, taking time to ponder and experience what Ian and Mattie are during their trip. The novel left me thankful, content and at peace, feeling as if I had traveled the world with two wonderful people. It is truly unique.

*A portion of the proceeds from each novel purchased of The Wishing Trees goes to the “Arbor Day Foundation”. In a way by reading and purchasing this novel, you are giving back.*

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