Author photo

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

The Wishing Game

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment


November 25, 2023

Why is the raven like a writing desk? That is the important first question in the novel "The Wishing Game" by Meg Shaffer. I was delighted to find this book because it had a raven in it and fit so nicely with the Raven serial in this issue.

The raven in this story is both a riddle and real. Author Jack Masterson is an eccentric man who wrote a series of very successful children's books about Clock Island and the adventures of children searching for wishes. Masterson has a pet raven he rescued as a fledgling. They became great friends and inseparable companions. Masterson does answer in a very clever way how a raven is like a writing desk!

The actual story in "The Wishing Game" revolves around this author and four adults who as children ran away from home to Clock Island to ask for a wish. They are now grown, a lawyer, a doctor, a bookstore owner and Lucy. Lucy is a grade school teacher's assistant who continues her passion for the Clock Island series, loves a young boy who needs a mother and still makes wishes into the void of her adult life.

When Jack Masterson writes one more book in his series after years between the last, he also creates the Wishing Game. He invites these adults who once ended up at his real door unexpectedly, to come again. He fills the game with challenges and riddles and the winner of the game wins the only copy of his last book. Lucy is desperate to win so she can adopt young Christopher and be his mother. But will she win the game in the end? Or will the winner be the lawyer, doctor or bookstore owner? Are wishes enough? Can Lucy wish bigger than the others?

Wishing is a good theme as we ease away from our Thanksgiving tables and pull out the glittering trimmings for another December season. No matter what holiday you celebrate or don't celebrate, wishing is especially poignant at this time of year. There is wishing in the air as Autumn breezes swirl leaves high into the sky and snowflakes are promised on a blast of cold. Wishes are whispered to a favorite doll, the dog, Santa. Walking stops at an especially beautiful window display, cars slow by a house covered in a million twinkling lights and memories swirl wildly while recalling secrets and surprises from the past.

One is never too young or too old to make a wish. Wishing is a timeless action that needs no clock or season. But it is nice to be reminded in such a festive way each December. Wish away dear readers! Wish deep, wish well.

Good Books. Good reading.

*Midge Lyn'dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.

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