The Wish - Nicholas Sparks

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

What if the person you needed most, turned up when you least expected them?
Maggie hasn't told this story in years. More than two decades ago, she fell in love. She was sixteen and far from home, waiting to give her baby up for adoption. Bryce showed Maggie how to take photographs and he didn't judge her for the way her belly swelled under her jumper. They had the perfect first kiss. Theirs was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love.
Now, as Maggie sits by the Christmas tree in her gallery telling her story, surrounded by the photographs that made her famous - the photographs Bryce never saw - her new gallery assistant asks her a question. If she had one wish, what would she wish for this Christmas?
Maggie always thought she knew the answer to that question. But before she can say 'I'd go back to that winter with Bryce', she stops herself. It is all she has ever wanted but suddenly here, on this dark night under the twinkling stars, there is something else she wants. She wants to find her baby.
A heart-wrenching and uplifting story about discovery and loss, The Wish is a reminder that time with those precious to us is the greatest gift of all.

My Thoughts:

I’m not even sure I am going to be able to do this book justice with this review. There are no appropriate words for how beautiful and heart-wrenching this story is. I am going to give it a try, though.
I have never cried so much throughout and at the end of a book as I did with this. I was literally sobbing my heart out; my husband came rushing into the room to see what was wrong with me; I just couldn’t stop crying! Towards the end, the hits just kept on coming, and I’d felt so invested in the story that the ending broke my heart.
Throughout the book, we are alternating between Maggie as a 16-year old in 1995 and herself in the present day (set in 2019). It is quite hard to marry up the two different Maggies, and they were such different people. It is true what she says to Bryce about them needing to know one another as adults, as people certainly change from how they are as teenagers.
I loved where the past was set; it made it seem longer ago than 1995. I felt like I was reading characters living in the 50s. The remoteness of Ocracoke made this possible and gave gravity to Maggie’s situation, and also made the closeness between her and the other characters more intense. The ‘past’ sections were definitely my favourite as it is everything that happens here that shaped Maggie into what she becomes. I found myself rushing through the present to get back to that story. How the past and present collide in the story and comes together was magically done. I did guess the slight twist at the end but finding out the truth was so poignant I didn’t care that I’d already suspected.
I’ve only ever read one other book by this author (The Notebook, after having watched the film a million times, I decided to read the book last year), and all I can say is Nicholas Sparks really knows how to hit you with the perfect balance of characters that you will fall in love with and a storyline that will stay in your thoughts for a long time after finishing the book!
This is probably the best book I have read this year, and I urge everyone to give it a read; you will not be disappointed! However, be prepared for some waterworks as it really hits you in the feels and will knock you off your feet with emotions!

The Wish
by Nicholas Sparks
Date Started
21st September 2021
Date Finished
25th September 2021