Wishing on Willows by Katie Ganshert

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Title: Wishing on Willows15759952

Author: Katie Ganshert

Published By: WaterBrook Press (2013)


Does a second chance at life and love always involve surrender?

A three-year old son, a struggling café, and fading memories are all Robin Price has left of her late husband. As the proud owner of Willow Tree Café in small town Peaks, Iowa,  she pours her heart into every muffin she bakes and espresso she pulls, thankful for the sense of purpose and community the work provides.

So when developer Ian McKay shows up in Peaks with plans to build condos where her café and a vital town ministry are located, she isn’t about to let go without a fight.

As stubborn as he is handsome, Ian won’t give up easily. His family’s business depends on his success in Peaks. But as Ian pushes to seal the deal, he wonders if he has met his match. Robin’s gracious spirit threatens to undo his resolve, especially when he discovers the beautiful widow harbors a grief that resonates with his own.

With polarized opinions forming all over town, business becomes unavoidably personal and Robin and Ian must decide whether to cling to the familiar or surrender their plans to the God of Second Chances. (Taken from Goodreads.)


I loved this book! I loved the characterization, the setting, the feel, the romance, everything! 

This book did take me a while to get into—but once I was attached to the characters, there was no putting it down. The premise and thematics of this novel were AMAZING. A woman pursuing her dream in the form of owning her own coffee shop where she keeps her piano and plays for customers whenever inspiration strikes? I just LOVED it. The depth in Robin’s character—from her flawed and beautiful motherhood, to her longing for Micah, to her tender growing love for Ian—created a living, breathing fictional character I loved. 

And Ian was another phenomonal character because he was one I hated at the beginning. I really did not like him and wanted him to LEAVE! But by the end I was rooting for him. It takes very impressive talent to pull off these type of character arcs, but Ganshert nailed it. 

The plot *could* be seen as a little slow, but it was yet definitely there, pulling us along even when we couldn’t even see it entirely. I never once grew bored. Her fight to keep the cafe was honestly so inspiring, and the whole story, despite its depth – one aspect is Robin recovering from her husband’s sudden death – was yet so sweet.

Negative Content/Notes:

This is an adult book. There are mentions to adult things, though not in the wrong light, and it never goes into anything in detail. Nothing that waved a red flag for me, the content was just a little more mature.


Altogether, this was an incredible book. The setting was unique and sentimental, the depth was masterfully painted, the characters alive and breathing, and a gentle yet intriguing plot guiding it all together to create a truly beautiful tale. Highly recommended.

Rating: 5.0 / 5.0

Recommended to: Ages 14 & up.

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