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The Wishing Jar Paperback – December 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Stokes has an unquenchable penchant for using the symbolism of objects as a springboard for her stories (The Memory Book; The Amber Photograph; The Treasure Box) and this novel predictably combines her distinctively good writing with a mostly recycled plot line involving time travel and women looking to the past for guidance. This contemporary tale, aimed loosely at evangelical Christian women, features 51-year-old widow Abby Quinn McDougall lamenting her life. She feels trapped between a surly teenage daughter, Neal Grace, and an aging live-in mother who requires her careful attention. On the family bookcase is an ivory porcelain "wishing jar," an heirloom that's purported to work its magic for those with deep yearnings. Abby, Neal Grace and Granny Q all long for change, and their wishes become the axis around which the story spins. The novel, in three parts, starts strongly, then slips into a time travel sequence that is fairly imaginative, but weakens the narrative and slows the pace. The multigenerational relationships of women are always good fodder for fiction, yet some of Stokes's plot elements (death by drunk driver, a hospital scene turning point and an unwed teen pregnancy) are hackneyed motifs in evangelical fiction. Stokes's established readers will feel a sense of dj
vu, though her prose is smooth as butter. One wonders what Stokes might be capable of should she stretch her wings and risk a little bit more.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Edith is very depressed as she sees that Abby and Neal Grace don't relate to her in the same way. Neal Grace can hardly bring herself to even look at her grandmother - what she sees is just a shell of the Granny Q she always loved. Abby sees her mother as feeble and pays little attention to anything she has to say. Abby races off to her work as a journalist, continually worrying over whether mother will burn the house down or have some sort of accident while she is home alone. Neal Grace begins skipping school to see a boyfriend who is emotionally and sometimes physically abusive. Believing that her whole world has come crashing down around her ears with the death of her father and her grandmother's stroke, she clings to him like a life raft. Edith, left to mourn all her losses, wishes that the stroke had taken her life. So begins the story of loving and longing ... of three people occupying the same house, yet emotionally light years away from each other.
The wishing jar itself is not central to the plot. It's a jar passed down through generations of Quinn women. It symbolizes for them the ability to change as well as a symbol of prayers answered.
This inspirational story will grab at your heartstrings as the three generations of women begin to grow and change. They begin to find in each other the strength to go on, to move past their losses, to love and laugh again. I highly recommend this book - reading it will enrich your life.
Most recent customer reviews
its not interesting: the plot is SOOOOOO shallow!!!!
its not set in a "back in the day" time frame!!!Read more