Robin Price and her husband were dreamers. When he died before their first child was born, Robin poured herself into their biggest dream, a small café similar to the ones they had visited on their European honeymoon. Now almost four years later, plans to pull small town Peaks, Iowa, out of its economic slump are threatening to permanently close the doors of Willow Tree Café.
As readers follow Robin through a few typical days at the café, you might begin to agree with the mayor and others in Peaks that Robin should sell to the condo developers. The café itself is not making a profit, partly because Robin is always giving her goods away free. She can’t even rely on her oven which seems to break down daily. Clearly she needs more time with her son Caleb, but most weeks she can’t even take one day off. At the same time, you’ll connect with Robin’s desire to save her shop, and along with it, the One Life community outreach program. Will new condos, mostly occupied by outsiders, really improve the lives of the townspeople?
Can Robin win her fight? Determined to take a stand, Robin refuses to listen to developer Ian McKay’s offers, but soon she learns that he is as determined as she is. As weeks pass and each gets to know the other better, both Robin and Ian find they must rethink their choices, past, present, and future. Could there be one decision that would give both second chances?
Readers who like Christian romances will be drawn to this new author. If they like this story, hopefully Robin’s extended family and the community of Peaks, Iowa will have more stories to reveal. Personally, I find most romances too predictable, unless the story is also populated with interesting side stories, cultural or historical background, or such. I am not sure if Ganshert accomplished that. I do see strong storytelling talent in this her second novel, and I am hoping she will branch out into deeper topics and more complex settings in future works. As an older reader, I’d actually be interested in the story of Robin’s father, who has decided to finally remarry after fifteen years of being alone, or perhaps Ian’s family, as they cope with their mother’s cancer.
Wishing On Willows will be published in March or April 2013. I received an advanced reader’s copy for review purposes from Blogging for Books.