Title: I Wished For You
Author: Amy Huberman
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary
Publisher: Penguin (6th June 2013)
Source: Penguin Books
Format: Finished Copy
Grace and Robbie seem destined to be together for ever, but when he unexpectedly goes down on bended knee, Grace freaks out. Cue the mother of all meltdowns.
On top of that, Grace is not exactly fulfilled by her job – dressing well-to-do ladies with way more money than style. Cue – in her addled state – losing it at work, with disastrous consequences.
Into Grace’s train-wreck of a life comes Verity – ex-Hollywood costume lady and vintage-clothing queen. Verity has seen it all and done it all and her life makes Grace’s look about as exciting as Songs of Praise. Verity tells Grace that the secret of happiness is to discover her ‘heart wish’. If only Grace could work out what her heart’s greatest wish really is . . .
Rating: *** (3 stars)
I WISHED FOR YOU is the second novel by Amy Huberman. It tells the story of Grace Harte an almost thirty year-old who is in a comfortable relationship with her boyfriend Robbie, the only problem she has (apart from her job) is that well-meaning friends and family keep asking her when she and Robbie are going to get married. Grace is happy with the status quo, and when it looks like Robbie might actually propose she freaks out.
I can relate to Grace as a character. There comes a time in life when well-meaning friends and family members want to know when you are going to ‘settle down’. I’m pretty sure it’s only a short jump from there to asking about marriage, and then kids. I genuinely love the way that Grace stands up for herself and the fact that she is happy with the way things are – even if she is almost thirty (don’t ask me why certain people seem to think this age is significant) – and she’s not ready for marriage yet. However, I did think Grace’s reaction when she thought Robbie was proposing was a tad OTT to put it mildly. There is a reason behind this which is explained later in the book, but at the time whilst it seemed in character I couldn’t help but feel it leant a tad towards the unrealistic.
For me, the most interesting part of the book begins after Grace’s reaction to the assumed proposal because this is when things start to fall apart. It’s also after this point that we meet the intriguing Verity. I found her a really interesting character as Huberman only reveals enough about her to make her seem real and believable, and even that is done slowly and grudgingly. In a lot of ways Verity acts as a Fairy Godmother to Grace, and remains just as mysterious. The secondary characters in I WISHED FOR YOU really helped to carry the plot, and Grace, to the end of the book. Huberman creates some really strong secondary characters, although there were a couple which felt a bit flat. I loved the relationship between Grace and her sister Tanya, and the relationship between Grace and Bette the cat – it was really quite fun, and amusing to read about.
I WISHED FOR YOU is a good second novel, there are some things which didn’t work for me personally BUT Huberman creates an interesting and engaging story that most people can relate to on some level. There is a lot of drama, and a few twists and turns to keep the plot interesting but you know how it will almost certainly end up pretty early on. These aren’t necessarily bad things, in fact they make the book a quick read. If you’re looking for some chick-lit to indulge yourself with and you’re around thirty – or perhaps older – then you should consider giving this book a try.