By Lisa Dale
Hachette Book Group
This lovely story is a story of relationships: relationships between mothers and daughters, between lovers, and between friends.
When she leaves her lonely childhood in rural Pennsylvania at age seventeen for the big-city lights of New York, Adele Matin swears it is never to return. But when a foolish mistake causes her life to come crashing down around her at age thirty, Adele finds herself with no option except the little cottage on Notch Lane that was left to her in her mother’s will. Broken in spirit, she sees the cottage as a temporary prison, a place to hide out and lick her wounds until she can regroup and resume her life in the city. What Adele isn’t counting on is the depth of feelings the cottage evokes in her, her instant attraction to her reclusive neighbor, Jay, or the bond of friendship she quickly forms with Beatrice, the older and wiser Korean woman who spends her weekends at the Lucky Moon, the cottage just down the lane.
Lisa Dale has done a phenomenal job of developing the characters within this story. Entering their worlds, I quickly got the sense of real people with real problems and very real personalities. I was immediately drawn to Notch Lane, a charming community snuggled against the breathtaking beauty of the Pennsylvania mountains. The story is definitely character-driven. The external plot moves at a deceptively leisurely pace, while at the same time, what is happening inside Adele is so gripping I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could to see how things would turn out for her as she struggled to resolve the hurts of her childhood and move on to discover the true meaning of friendship and love.
Simple Wishes is an emotional and romantic read that I recommend to anyone who likes a good, relationship story.