Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Club: Summer of Two Wishes by Julia London


By Aly Hackett

Whose wife was she?

Macy Lockhart's life shattered in a moment with the news that her husband, Finn--serving in the military overseas--has been killed in the line of duty.  Their ardent and devoted marriage is over, leaving Macy alone and directionless.  But while she tries to sustain herself with memories of Finn, the quiet, strong man who made her and their small Texas ranch the center of his life, it is wealthy Wyatt Clark who slowly brings joy back into her life.  Her love for Wyatt may be less romantic than the breathless passion she'd once shared with Finn, but she vows to cherish him, and their marriage is happy and solid as a rock.  Until the day that Finn, miraculously spared from death, returns home to claim his bride...

How can a woman choose between the two men she loves?  And how will she make the right choice--for herself and everyone involved?

Macy Lockhart has been heartbroken since the day two men from the Army came to tell her that her husband, Finn, was killed in action. In that moment Macy could never imagine moving on with her life. But as time passes, Macy starts to heal and opens herself up. Two years after losing Finn she marries Wyatt Clark, starts to build a foundation and is planning on starting a family. Macy certainly hasn't forgotten her first husband - and one true love - but she has survived her grief and realizes that she still has plenty of life to live.

And then the absolutely unthinkable happens. Two men from the Army once again approach Macy but this time it is to tell her that her husband is in fact alive. This is not only a shock to Macy and all those that love Finn but it creates a conflict like none other.

Macy now must make a devastating decision: decide to divorce Finn to make her marriage to Wyatt legal or request her marriage to Wyatt be declared void and stay married to Finn. How is she going to choose between her first love and the man that brought her back to life by loving her? That is the question which torments Macy for a good part of the book and tests her in a way nothing else could.

She loved two men. She loved them differently, but she loved them both nonetheless, and it left her incapable of making a decision. Or eating or sleeping, for that matter. She was paralyzed.

On one hand there is Finn. Finn kept himself alive while in captivity by remembering his life with Macy and imagining what things will be like when he gets free. Never did he imagine that when he did finally manage to escape, his wife would no longer be his wife, or his at all. So not only did Finn have to readjust after being held prisoner and learn how to cope with PTSD but the one thing he thought he could depend on - his life with Macy - is gone. His emotions are all over the place, as anyone could imagine and he's so angry at Macy for moving on without him that his pain takes on a life of its own.

Finn Lockhart, as he remembered himself, thought of himself, had ceased to exist, and now he was the guy everyone kept calling a hero. He wasn’t a hero. He was the farthest thing from a hero.

On the other hand, there's Wyatt. Wyatt, in my opinion, is in the absolute worst position of the three. There were definitely parts of this book where I wanted to smack him but who could blame him? He has the woman he wants, the woman he loves and is getting ready to start a family with her. Business is going well, life is everything he could ever want...and them WHAM!! His life is turned completely upside down.

How did a man go about handling that sort of news? He was a newlywed; he was building their life. He was embarking on a very large deal to build a destination resort and spa that would make them wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. He didn’t need this. He needed Macy, and now he didn’t even know what to expect when she came back from D.C.

I will be very honest and say I went into this book a bit skeptical because I wasn't sure that I would be happy with the ending. I am so glad that I got past my skepticism because not only am I happy with how it ended but with the book as a whole.

But aside from the absolutely heart wrenching story line this book is made with its characters. At some point during the story I loathed almost every single character! LOL! No, really, I did! This is a very tough situation for everyone involved and they all make some choices that are emotional rather than rational. And despite my loathing, Julia London makes me understand why every single one of them behaves in the manner in which they do and makes me love them again :)

In the end, Summer of Two Wishes is an emotional story that has some fabulous characters and definitely makes you want to see what is going to happen next in Cedar Springs.

Thanks to Julia for stopping in today to visit with us!  We are thrilled to have you here!

By now we all know that I am not a cook!  Bake, yes.  Cook, HELL NO :)  But here is a crock pot recipe that my kids love!

Slow Cooker Pork Chops 
From allrecipes.com (http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/pork-chops-for-the-slow-cooker/Detail.aspx)

Ingredients
6 boneless pork chops
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Place pork chops in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops.
Cook on Low setting for 6 hours, until internal temperature of pork has reached 160 degrees F

And for something a little more *me*

Apple Orchard Cake
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 apples – peeled and diced
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
¾ cups walnuts (optional)

Mix sugar, margarine and eggs in bowl. Stir in graham cracker crumbs, apples and nuts until blended. Spread batter into greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

21 comments:

Aly said...

Good morning everyone! I must get the kids off to school and get myself to work but I wanted to start the ball rolling!

Welcome Julia! Thanks for visiting with us today :)

I hope that everyone enjoyed this book as much as I did. What a fabulously spectacular roller coaster ride we are taken on. It is impossible not the feel compassion for the 3 main characters in this book as they all suffer through their own turmoil.

OK ladies...drink your coffee, get your breakfast and let's start discussing!!!

Ronlyn said...

I'm popping in waaaaay early for me today (I beat the auto coffee maker! gah!)
Wonderful write up Aly. The entire premise of this book is so intriguing (in a "this is my worst nighmare" type of way).
Welcome to book club Julia!

krisgils33 said...

This is one of those books that I was almost loathe to pick up because I knew it was going to be a gut-wrenching emotional ride. But my desire to read the story was overwhelming. I definitely had a love-hate relationship with all of the characters at some point along the journey. And, as happy as I was for Finn and Macy, my heart bled for Wyatt in the end. I am sooooo glad he got his story (and his HEA). Wyatt's book was actually my favorite, because at the end everyone was happy...and that's how it should be. :-)

Aly said...

I agree Kris! I knew that at the end of Summer of Two Wishes that Wyatt's story just had to be told and I am so glad that it was! A Light At Winter's End is a fabulous conclusion to Wyatt's story.

Mary G said...

Great writeup Aly. I picked up this book so many times at the book store was was very apprehensive about reading it. I didn't know if I could pick one hero to root for or if Macy would pick the "right"one LOL. I finally gave in & I'm glad I did.
Loved this book & got the rest right away.

Julia London said...

Good morning! I didn't know there would be cake, too :-). First of all, thank you everyone for reading the book. And I am glad you know that Wyatt gets his shot at happiness in Summer of Two Wishes.

Personally, I am glad you had a love-hate relationship with the characters. That means I did it right. It's impossible to write a conflict like this and make everyone likable. I know because I tried, LOL.

Thanks so much for having me here today

Alison said...

Good morning! Great write up Aly! The recipes look great!

Like everyone else I was a little worried going into this book. I sorta hoped one of the heroes would be a tool so it would be easy to pick a favorite, but when both men were so wonderful I thought...What's Macy going to do??? I didn't envy her making that choice!

I really felt for all the characters in this book as they each tried to find their way through this situation. I was so happy to see Wyatt get his HEA in A Light At Winter's End.

Welcome to book club Julia!

ShellyE said...

Awesome write up Aly!! I haven't read this book, not sure if I could make it thru this one.... it sounds like an emotionally devestating book - gotta know, how many boxes of kleenex did you all go thru? (especially you Julia, as I'm sure you were very invested in all the characters).

Tara said...

Great write up and recipes Aly! Just popping in from vacation to say hi. I haven't read this book yet, but will add it to my tbr pile.

Julia, thanks for stopping by today! What made you write a hero returns story? And at any time did you change your mind who Macy would pick in the end?

Have a great day everyone!

Julia London said...

You know, there were a few moments in the book that made me a little weepy, but for the most part, I was kind of at a distance.

As for why the hero's return story? Every Memorial Day, our local paper has a front page with all the pictures of the men and women who died in service. Now that makes me cry. And I thought of all those mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, children, who would give anything for one of them to come back. And I started thinking...what if one of them did? Life has gone on for the family, what would the soldier find? And it went from there.

Julia London said...

I have a question. If I wrote another Cedar Springs book, who should it be about? Jesse? Sam? Someone else?

oklanannie said...

Good morning and welcome Julia!

I've read all three books in the "Cedar Springs" series and enjoyed each one. The titles were so beautiful and caught my attention. Julia, I'm wondering if you had your way with those, or someone else involved?

"Summer of Two Wishes" started out with me saying, "Someone is going to be hurt badly and not one of them will deserve the pain coming down the pike." As you're reading this book, the question, what on earth would I do if faced with a similar situation as Macy? It's totally mind-boggling. And it's what kept me enthralled in this book from beginning to ending. I couldn't put it down. At one point, I did throw up my hands and say, "Not this too!" when even a best friend steps into the scene with betrayal beyond the boundaries of forgiveness - at least for me. But, oh no, it didn't stop there. There's another really big whopper "uh oh" moment where my breath caught and I shed tears. All I could say was why now? Why not later when the decision has been made covering the major crisis? All I can say is that Julia did a wonderful job of writing a book that won't let your attention wander, will keep your emotions in high gear, and gives you a love story that would not end.

Tara, great questions that I would like to hear the answers to myself.

Have a great day everyone!

Aly said...

I have to say that a story about Sam would definitely interest me. That girl caused me to have some HUGE dislike going on for her in Summer of Two Wishes. I could understand her reaction a bit but still...ARGH!! LOL!

Julia, do you find your male or female characters easier to write? Or does it depend?

oklanannie said...

My choice would be Sam. I want to like her, I really do! She suffered a great loss, as well. And I want to be convinced that she's not as weak as she came across. And it would be nice to see that she's recovered and gets a second chance at love, too!

Alison said...

Can I say both? I'd like to see Sam redeemed...I REALLY didn't like her at the end. Jesse...I luv cowboys and he would make a good hero. Maybe he and Sam could get together??

Julia - do you have an easier time writing historicals or contemps?

oklanannie said...

Alison - I like your thinking. Two books is twice the pleasure!

Marie Force said...

Morning!
Thanks for being here today, Julia, and for the really riveting book. I'm reading it now and of course you wonder what you'd do in that situation. It's great to have you here and waving hi to all the book club ladies, too!

Aly, great write up and thanks for hosting!

Julia London said...

I am so surprised! I thought you'd all say Jesse. But Allison, there's an idea--maybe Sam and Jesse can get together. Let me think...how could I torture them :-).

Thank you all so much for the kind words about Summer of Two Wishes. The conflict was so simple, yet so powerful, that in my mind, it sort of stands out among my books. From a writing perspective, that is. Rarely do I think of a conflict that can pack that much emotional punch.

Mary G said...

Julia
I remember thinking that Finn coming back was not fair to Wyatt but the chemistry between Macy & Finn was so there that I got it.

Julia London said...

I did forget to answer if I changed my mind who Macy would end up with. I didn't know who Macy would end up with until about two-thirds through the book. I had such a hard time with it, but if finally became clear to me that Finn was Macy's deepest love. It wasn't fair to Wyatt. It wasn't fair to Finn. It wasn't fair to Macy. What a mess! hahahaa!

But you know, lots of people have had more than one love in their lives, but isn't there always one that is the one that you consider your deepest love?

Aly said...

Thanks Julia for coming and hanging out!