The Wish by Nicholas Sparks

Estimated read time 3 min read

On my way home, I took a picture of a shooting star and was in awe of how beautiful nature is. Nicolas Sparks’ The Wish is based on photography as the images illustrated in the novel play a part in telling the story.

Nicolas Sparks illustrates the beauty of nature, and some are landmarks in the characters’ lives, all of them adding color to the story.

A picture of a shooting star taken in Toronto

Nicholas Sparks’ novel was characterized by love and love built through pictures.

In The Wish, a young girl (Maggie) discovers love in the small town of Ocracoke when she gets pregnant at 16. Subsequently, her parents send her permanently to Ocracoke to avoid waggling tongues and because they don’t believe in abortion.

In Ocracoke, she stays with her aunt and meets a young man, Bryce, who shows her how to take pictures. Eventually, photography becomes her career path, and Bryce becomes the love of her life.

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At the novel’s beginning, Maggie finds out she has a terminal illness and decides to put out a video on YouTube where she discusses how the disease has changed her and how she is coping. Nicholas Sparks describes in vivid detail how Maggie takes her pictures; the stories behind each picture point to her growth, struggle, and life.

Knowing her illness will take her life, Maggie meets a young man Mark, who she employs in her gallery, and she narrates her life story going back two decades. She bonds with Mark, and the relationship is significant as she prepares for her death.

The author does well in navigating time (past and present), and each character in the novel plays a unique role in developing the story, each fitting the puzzle perfectly. Maggie’s parents, sister, and aunt were all vital in Maggie’s growth. Maggie’s mother’s criticisms push her to pursue her goals, making her even more critical of her daughter’s choices.

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This novel is not fast-paced. Instead, it is a slow journey into the life of Maggie, everything that made her and what marred her. It reflects how life goes by fleetingly and how everything can vanish in one split second.

The author said readers would shed tears in the novel, and indeed, there were tears for the reader. The book makes you consider untypical things like what you would do if you knew when you would die, what you would do with second chances, and why bad things happen to good people.

Style and Language

Summarily, the story is beautifully written. The author uses simple language, which is almost flawless. I found the dialogue sometimes simple (I was looking for more profound philosophical statements), but I suppose the author wanted to keep it simple. Life is too complex to make it more complicated, right? Yet, the simplicity of life itself makes it difficult to understand.

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In addition, it is written in chapters with different points of view (first person and third person), all moving through different time spectrums. The novel is set in Seattle, and Maggie’s flashbacks are in Ocracoke. The navigation between places is seamless, and the reader will be clear about what is what and where.

This book is a good read. It is not fast-paced, and it is not boring. It is a story of normal people facing life. It is relatable, and I can recommend this to anyone looking for a good read.

Get a copy here.

Onome Onwah

Onome Onwah is a lover of books with background in English, English Literature and Education from University of Ibadan and University of Lagos respectively.

Her love for reading pushed her to establish Treasured Thoughts Academy, a literacy organisation that advocates for literacy development and grooms readers.

When she is not reading, she is probably watching movies, listening to music or exploring all kinds of foods.

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