“Love makes a place for itself even if there isn’t one, Mama. Love carves into the hardest of places.”
4 romantic stars
I’ve always loved Mia Sheridan’s stories but it’s been some time since I’ve read one of her books. You know how it is shiny new books and all.
When I spotted The Wish Collector on Instagram I was immediately drawn to the cover, so different from her other covers so far.
Yes yes I know don’t judge a book by its cover and all but what can I say? When you know that people take 1 to 2 minutes before deciding to take a chance on a book it is expected that the cover will play a central role in the decision making.
But I digress.
What I can say about The Wish Collector is that it’s perfect for romantic minds.
It combines a modern retelling of Phantom of the Opera, an historical love story and a mystery to solve.
Clara is a ballerina and has realized her lifetime dream; dance for a major ballet company in New Orleans. She comes from a single dad family and her dad sacrificed everything to have her follow ballet classes and dance. It broke my heart reading about that courageous father who now had Alzheimer and could not fully grasp that his little girl really made it.
Clara is lonely as the competition between dancers is fierce and she is far from home.
Yet she will make friends with colorful and old-fashioned characters. From old ladies lodging her to sweet old man selling the vegetables and flowers from his garden, all these side characters help give “New Orleans colors” to the story.
Clara is at heart a big romantic.
When she hears about the wall of wishes and the legend of Evangelina haunting the property ground as her lover betrayed her, she could not resist and visited that wall.
Being generous her wish was not for her but for Evangelina.
Little did she know that behind the wall lived the owner, Jonah, disfigured after a dramatic event in which he played a major role and bore the brunt of a huge guilt.
Week after week Clara will come back and speak to Jonah through the wall.
It was sweet reading about the bond slowly forming between these two lonely souls.
We grasped from the beginning that present Jonah was far from past Jonah and had much to atone for.
Poor Jonah he paid the price for his mistake. And disfigured as he was he never dared to hope that someone could love him one day. The dramatic event that happened in his life seemed to have changed him, making him more attuned to others sufferings. Opening his eyes to what was truly important in life: not glory but love.
“He’d fallen in love, and she hadn’t even known he was there. Hadn’t known that his heart had beaten to the same tempo of the music she’d moved so gracefully to. Swelling and receding…in rapture. In pain.”
The whole story is about redemption. Forgiving others but especially forgiving yourself as part of a healing process.
It’s about two lonely souls connecting on a deep level.
It’s about solving a mystery old of more than 150 years and freeing two ghosts imprisoned and cursed.
The historical elements gave the story a tale-like quality. Something I would compare to Midnight Lily by the same author but Jonah looked like Archer as he was lost, sweet and hopeful.
Every character is well fleshed out and relatable. Clara is easy to love and Jonah is easy to fall for. The story flows effortlessly with some angst but not too much, light mystery and heavy romantic vibes.
If I had been in a better headspace I would probably have given more stars to this book but unfortunately for Mia I’ve had great difficulties to focus on books and really fall into the stories.
I just found this a little too smooth or sweet to give it the full 5 stars.
Recommend it? Without a doubt if you love romance!
Have you read Mia Sheridan’s books?
Thanks for reading.