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My Wish List: A Novel Paperback – March 25, 2014


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Far from the Madding Crowd
Far from the Madding Crowd
The strong-minded Bathsheba Everdene—and the devoted shepherd, obsessed farmer and dashing soldier who vie for her favor—move through a beautifully realized late 19th-century countryside, still almost untouched by the encroachment of modern life. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release a movie version of Far from the Madding Crowd May 1st. Learn more
$12.87 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Tra edition (March 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014312465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143124658
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* At 47, Jocelyn Guerbette is fairly sure nothing in her life is going to get remarkably better. Owning a fabric shop is stable if unexciting work, her grown children only fill her in on the barest details of their lives, and her husband seems to desire nothing more than a flat-screen TV and every James Bond DVD ever produced. Still, small glimmers of happiness, like catching up on small-town gossip with the twins who work at the hair salon next door, make Jocelyn content. When Françoise and Daniéle convinceher to buy a lottery ticket, Jocelyn never expects her spur-of-the-moment purchase to pay off. But pay off it does, and Jocelyn quietly exchanges her winning ticket for a terrifyingly large check. While she decides how to tell her friends and family about her winnings, Jocelyn realizes just how life-changing her new fortune could be. My Wish List is about one woman’s one-in-a-million response to a one-in-a-million chance. Jocelyn is an immensely likable narrator, and Delacourt’s fluid, elegant prose brings layers of depth to a relatively simple story. Fans of Chocolat (1999) and The Elegance of the Hedgehog (2008) will adore My Wish List, an emotionally wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of ambition, risk, and acceptance. --Stephanie Turza

Review

“Delacourt’s appealing novel (a huge best seller in his native France) [is a] dark, suspenseful fable.” —The New York Times

“Fans of Chocolat and The Elegance of the Hedgehog will adore My Wish List, an emotionally wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of ambition, risk, and acceptance. . . . Jocelyne is an immensely likable narrator, and Delacourt’s fluid, elegant prose brings layers of depth to a relatively simple story.” —Booklist, starred review

“Revelatory . . . with an unexpected twist that speaks volumes about the nature of truth, love and happiness.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“This dastardly little novel focuses on love, desire and what we stand to lose when we win. . . . [A book] the late novelist Josephine Hart might have written.” —Kirkus Reviews

“What is happiness, what can money buy, what happens to love? . . . [My Wish List] will attract . . . those who enjoyed Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. . . . A sparse, understated, philosophical [novel with] appeal to male as well as female readers, and for literary fiction fans and book clubs.” —Library Journal

“[A] fable about how money changes everything, and nothing . . . The aching need for comfort, safety and love that it describes is universal.” —Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

I found every page of the book to be extremely depressing, even to the final sentence.
L. B. Garcia
I think the book is still worth reading (and it is an easy read), just brace yourself for the Hollywood ending.
Dee G
He follows his dull life thanks to his beer and his very low dreams (such as a flat-screen TV).
wordsandpeace

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 29, 2014
Format: Paperback
What a nice surprise this little book was. More and more I find myself shying away from contemporary literature, sticking to the occasional murder mystery and mostly nonfiction the rest of the time. Every six months or so I try some novel that's been praised to the skies -- The Dinner, The Art of Fielding, The Ruins, Lionel Asbo. Maybe it's high expectations, but I come away feeling cheated. Perhaps this time it was lack of any expectations that left me feeling quite satisfied with My Wish List.

The premise is simple -- what if you won the lottery? Not original, to be sure, but still intriguing. Right from the start, you know that this book was not written by an American or if so, then not by a woman. Our protagonist, a woman approaching fifty, is admiring her admittedly imperfect naked body in a full length mirror. She sees her extra weight around the middle, the wrinkles appearing on her face, and yet she still quite likes what she sees. Unheard of. The author is not American or a woman, he's French. Still, this woman who runs a fabric shop in a small French town and writes a daily blog is likeable and you really care what happens to her.

Her husband is not ideal, but she loves him despite his faults. Her children have left home recently and she's a little at loose ends. When she plays the lottery, at the insistence of her friends, she wins. Before she has even decides whether to collect the prize, it has changed her life. There's no going back.

What follows feels almost inevitable, and I can't imagine how it could have ended any other way and still felt real. The Wish List is a compact story, with a beginning, middle, and end, which is more than I can say for most of the novels I've read in the past few years.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dee G on April 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It seems like current fiction writers start with a wonderful premise and composition and then, three quarters of the way through, remember they have a deadline and rush to a finish. My Wish List suffers from this in my opinion,

The beginning of this book is so well written that I had to stay up very late reading. I felt like I was in the soul of a French woman with whom I have nothing in common in real life. I was enraptured with the story and had to see what was going to happen.

Unfortunately, when the ending came it was a major disappointment. I will not give it away here, but would love to discuss with someone the motivations of the secondary characters. If anyone knows of a good discussion board, please post.

I think the book is still worth reading (and it is an easy read), just brace yourself for the Hollywood ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. B. Garcia on August 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up from the "new book" section of the city library, brought it home, and read it in a sitting. I have NEVER written a review about anything before, but this little book has prompted me to write one. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!

Having a list of many, many exceptional books I want to read, I regret the time wasted on this one. I kept waiting for it to get better, waiting for what would have to be some kind of good ending (which did not exist). I give the book one star only because I can't click "zero" stars. I'll give it the one star because the writing IS good (meaning, not brainless or trite as in many books)and I liked the format/style.

On the back cover of the book, a review says: "A gem of a novel...one feels unbelievably happy reading this." What?! Did that reviewer even READ this book? I felt tricked. I found every page of the book to be extremely depressing, even to the final sentence. It was so bad that I actually laughed in disbelief several times, amazed at the author's audacity to prey upon the reader. The author took what could have been a great idea for a novel, and used it to drag the reader down.

I once heard the quote "Most people lead lives of quiet desperation." I've found that quote to be true. But why wallow in it as this author did? The trend these days is for people to be inundated with everyone else's misery, in order to somehow commiserate and feel better about one's own life, when in fact, the opposite occurs.

Life is short enough. We are busy enough helping the downtrodden. We all read what we need to, to educate ourselves about the plight of others and gain understanding, empathy, and compassion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BHB on April 12, 2014
Format: Audible Audio Edition
My Wish List is a difficult book to rate and review. Delacourt stated that he wanted to write a book about what would it would take to change your life. He does this by having his protagonist, middle-aged Jocelyne, win the lottery, to the tune of €18.5 million. The story unwinds when Jocelyne doesn't tell anyone about her new fortune, not her husband, grown children, or the twin hairdressers that encouraged her to play the lottery. The only person that Jocelyne reveals her secret to is her father who has suffered a stroke and has only a six-minute memory span. Jocelyne leads an ordinary existence, running her own haberdashery shop in a provincial French town, but one she seems quite content in. After her lottery win, she begins to make lists of things she needs, but realizes that many of them are ordinary - a new lamp, a lovely wool and alpaca coat, a non-flowery shower curtain. Her husband wants "more" - a flat-screen TV, a Porsche, and all the James Bond movies on DVD. She is afraid that if she gives her husband everything he wants, he will no longer want her.

I don't want to reveal any more of the plot because that is something each reader should discover for themselves. While not a heartwarming, light read, this book is definitely thought-provoking!

Addendum: The title of the original French version seems to be The List of My Desires. It may be a small thing, but I think that title works much better.
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