“Wishes in branches tied with string. Someone’s hopes. Another’s dreams.”
Henry Harmon has been married more than sixty years to his bigger-than-life and talk-of-the-town wife, Greta, when he begins to see signs of a problem. When her diagnosis comes to light, he struggles to keep his oath of in sickness and health, and to do it alone.
On the other side of their small town is Neva Cabot, who many years ago put her own mental health first when she cut friendship ties with Greta. But Neva is the kindest of kind and has been the face of hospitality for their town for decades. Even so, it will take some soul-searching for her to be able to step up and help walk Henry through the hardest days of his life.
Janie Stallard and her two daughters have just moved in to the old Johnson’s house when they can’t make the next rent and will be forced to move out. Neva offers Janie a job and her family a safe haven while they figure out what they want to do, and Neva tries to figure out why they are really there.
My introduction to this series and an emotionally draining one at that. Neva Cabot is the Linden Falls quiet but powerful voice. She has a pulse on the people and knows when to step up. In this case, she is aware that Henry Harmon is exhausted with the care he is trying to provide his wife. She has had dementia for some time and is ill as well.
Neva knows both Henry (a past beau) and his wife Greta with whom she was friends until their conflict separated them. Despite the feelings left between the three, she feels it’s time Henry had some much-needed support—whether or not Greta accepts it.
…”suspicion and paranoia went hand in hand with dementia patients.”
Neva has come to the aid of Janie and her two daughters, hiring her as a housekeeper so she can provide a roof over their heads and in the meantime the girls are becoming acquainted with Greta, who, with Henry spent many years traveling the world, seeing the sights, and enjoying life.
They didn’t have children but Greta is delighting in telling the girls about the different countries, including Taiwan. And, oh, did that bring back my own memories! As she spoke of Sun Moon Lake, I was reminded of the amebic dysentery bout I experienced there I’d gotten as a result of eating the food from vendors parked over the benjo ditches in Taipei where we’d go in search of something to eat after *s..t*-kicker night at the Maag Club. (Wonderful concerts with Tammy Wynette and Jeannie Seeley to name a couple.) Well, anyway…
I was enjoying the simple and poignant narrative at times touching close to home. There are a couple pets that lighten somewhat the heavy atmosphere. Neva is a great main character, empathetic and caring. Henry is very sympathetic. I could also identify with Janie (although I wondered how authentic the girls could be) and going into the conclusion felt my heart clutch.
Then—that little bombshell at the climax. Whoa! What a twist! Sweet, if not wholly credible. A short story that packs a powerful punch. I’m sure there are many readers who can relate to the characters and situations and I have to give the author credit for providing that zinger. Totally unexpected but satisfying.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author through a promo that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Women’s Friendship Fiction, Single Authors Short Stories, Short Stories
Publisher: Red Thread Publishing Group
Print Length: 155 pages
Publication Date: March 9, 2022
Source: Author’s promo
Title Link: Wish You Were Here [Amazon]
The Author: Kay Bratt; Writer, Rescuer, Wanderer
As a writer, Kay used writing to help her navigate a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay emerged a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories. She is the author of more than two dozen books, with ten of those published by Lake Union Publishing. Kay writes women’s fiction and historical fiction, and her books have fueled many exciting book club discussions. Her works have been translated into German, Korean, Chinese, Hungarian, Czech, Estonian, and have made it into the hands of more than a million readers around the world.
As a rescuer, Kay currently focuses her efforts on animal rescue and is the Director of Advocacy for Yorkie Rescue of the Carolinas. As a child advocate, she spent a number of years volunteering in a Chinese orphanage, as well as provided assistance for several nonprofit organizations that support children in China, including An Orphan’s Wish (AOW), Pearl River Outreach, and Love Without Boundaries. In the USA, she actively served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Georgia, and spear-headed numerous outreach programs for underprivileged children in the South Carolina area.
As a wanderer, Kay has lived in nearly three dozen different homes, on two continents and in states from coast to coast in the USA. She’s traveled to Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Philippines, Central America, Bahamas, and Australia. Currently she and her soulmate of more than 25 years enjoy life in their forever home on the banks of Lake Hartwell in Georgia, USA.
Kay has been described as southern, spicy, and a little sassy. Social media forces her to overshare and you don’t want to miss some of the antics that goes on with her and the Bratt Pack.
Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then buckle up and enjoy the ride. You can find a full list of her published works at http://www.kaybratt.com — To be notified when new books are released, please sign up for my monthly email newsletter at http://www.kaybratt.com or at this link:
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