*Note: This book was an advanced reader’s copy from Net Galley. It will be published on May 30, 2023, and is available for pre-order on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Game-Novel-Meg-Shaffer-ebook/dp/B0BHD79NZ9/
The reclusive and very rich children’s book author, Jack Masterson, is writing again after a long dry spell. On his private island, Clock Island, named for his book series, he’s devised a contest for four adults who once ran away from home to visit him. The prize is the only copy of his new book, valued at six figures. One of these people, Lucy, a teacher’s assistant, desperately wants to win the contest, so she can afford to foster a young boy and eventually adopt him.
When Lucy arrives on the island and meets the other contestants, she also meets Masterson’s book illustrator with whom she becomes attracted. The contest involves several difficult puzzles. Lucy starts out ahead by solving the first but then falls behind. The only way she can win is to solve the last puzzle.
What I liked about this book was the backstory about the author and illustrator as well as that of Lucy and her young friend. The writing was enchanting with touches of fantasy and whimsy that reflected the best quality of children’s books in an adult novel. I recommend this read to those who enjoy a sweet story and a happy but not necessarily obvious ending.