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The Wishing Hill: A NovelThe Wishing Hill: A Novel by Holly Robinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bathed in the lush, golden hues of Puerto Vallarta, Juliet Clark spends each sitting on the beaches of Mexico's Pacific Coast, painting landscapes and vaguely feigning a Mexican heritage to the tourists who come to buy her work as the waves lap at the shoreline. When faced with unexpected desertion of her husband, Juliet Clark is at a loss; her tranquil bliss comes to an abrupt halt. Like the native Huichol Indians performing breathtaking ritual, the dance of the flyer, her life has taken on the feel of a free fall ballet.

Furthering her sense of loss of gravity, a phone call, explaining that under no uncertain terms, she must leave her idyllic life and return home to care for her aging mother, a woman who, during Juliet's childhood, was constantly preoccupied with creating a grandiose public facade, while covering her personal inadequacies in a garnered sense of entitlement and self importance, drawn from the admiration of others. Her preoccupation with success in her career as an actress overshadowed the authenticity of her relationship with her childen, who were often neglected while Desiree, her mother, pursued her own interests and romantic relationships that would both serve as fuel for her narcissistic need to be constantly adored and who would supplement her personal income.

In the The Wishing Hill: A Novel, author Holly Robinson takes us to a place of hidden intimacy between mothers and daughters, exposing the pain of their choices and the fears that lay behind them. Written with tender honesty, she holds out her hand, offering her characters with a vulnerability that is, at times, unsettling. The fragile nature of generations of women is beautified in their heartbreaks and their uncertainties, even as they are made strong through the power of their convictions.

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