Wish You Were Here by Beth K Vogt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads: Kissing the wrong guy days before her scheduled wedding leads Allison to become a runaway bride. But can it also lead to happily ever after? Allison Denman is supposed to get married in five days, but everything is all wrong. The huge wedding. The frothy dress. And the groom. Still, kissing the groom’s brother, Daniel, in an unguarded moment is decidedly not the right thing to do. How could she have made such a mistake? It seems Allison’s life is nothing but mistakes at this point. Daniel’s adventures—chronicled through a collection of postcards—have always appealed to Allison’s well-hidden desire for something more. But how can betraying her fiancé’s trust lead to a true happily ever after? Can Allison find her way out of this mess? Recognizing she doesn’t have all the answers won’t be easy because she’s used to being in control. To find her way again, she will have to believe that God has a plan for her—one outside her carefully defined comfort zone—and find the strength to let Him lead.
My thoughts: So Allison is all dressed up and ready to go, walking down the aisle when her conflicted heart and head war and she runs away. In front of 350 of their closest friends and relatives. The back story is, at first, that she has feelings for Daniel, Seth's older brother. The real back story is much more complicated.
Allison is weak protagonist, unsure of herself and full of fear and self-doubt. Although that irritated me at first, I realized that was part of the plan. I thought the "Runaway Bride" correlation was overplayed but Allison's background in Romantic Comedies warranted at least a mention.
So Allison runs off and keeps trying to escape the hard things in her life. Confrontation is not her strong suit. Actually, at the beginning of the book, Allison barely knows who she is and believes she is the sum of her mistakes and secrets. Seth is a take-charge kind of guy who has been making decisions for Allison and himself for years. Allison has let him because of her own back story which is eventually revealed. Themes for the story include re-evaluating childhood experiences through the eyes of your adult self, self-acceptance, seeking God's acceptance before man, forgiveness, and choice and accountability.
Vogt uses props for subtle symbolism. Allison's dress is wonderfully utilized as are the llamas on her aunt's property.
This is a fun, quick, feel-good read and I appreciated the realistic time period as well as Allison's metamorphosis being incomplete yet accepting the journey.
*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.