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Feature book: The January Wish

8 July 2015

TheJanuaryWish_MadisonThe January Wish by Juliet Madison

Dr Sylvia Greene is 34 and works in general practice in the small coastal town of Tarrin’s Bay. Every year on 4 January, the town has a festival to celebrate the completion of a fountain. The legend is that tossing a coin into, making a wish and walking around the fountain three times will make your wish come true. Sylvia’s wish is to make contact with her daughter whom she placed for adoption when she was born eighteen years ago (when Sylvia herself was 16).

Mark is a naturopath who performs a wide range of complimentary medical services including acupuncture. He moved to Tarrin’s Bay to restart his life after his wife died unexpectedly eighteen months prior. He has only moved thirty minutes away from his previous life, but he thinks changing his surroundings will help him move on. He needs to let go but won’t. He still has his wife’s photographs all over the house and all her things in boxes he can’t bring himself to open.

There are parallel romances running in this story—one between Sylvia and Mark and another between Grace (Sylvia’s natural daughter) and Jonas. Sylvia and Mark’s relationship is mildly conflicted with their opposing positions on naturopathy, but they are more significantly affected by his inability to move on after his wife’s death. Grace and Jonas have a sweet new adult type relationship with an unexpected outcome. The main relationship explored in the book is one of family, mostly Sylvia and Grace. They start the book wondering about each other. Grace is eighteen, uncertain and looking to live even though she is devastated by the loss of her adoptive mother. Sylvia is mildly stinging from the abrupt end of a romantic relationship with a cardiac surgeon. They come to be family over the course of the book but go their separate ways to fulfil their dreams.

This is a very gentle story. The romance between Sylvia and Mark is sweet, and the story is laid-back. It focuses on the relationship between Sylvia and Grace, the daughter she placed for adoption long ago, and their journey to family. There is some mild drama, a few possibly teary spots, but overall it is a low-stress, no-sex read.

Reviewed by Gina

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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