Wish Craft
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Pages: 57
Goes Well With: A BLT and a tall glass of sweet iced coffee

For a while now, Jayden White has felt out-of-place—like she belongs somewhere (and sometime) else—and she’s been preparing for a journey back in time, to find her soul mate back in 1884. But Jayden is planning to do more than just find a husband—she’s also planning to help her pregnant half-sister, Emily, whose husband was just paralyzed in an accident. With medical bills piling up, Emily and her family will lose their home if they don’t find a solution soon—so Jayden plans to set up a trust fund in 1884 that will make sure that Emily is taken care of.

Using wish craft and quantum leaping—two practices that no one else has yet been able to master—Jayden travels back in time, landing right in the middle of Levi Grimshaw’s home. But she might be too late; he’s just proposed to someone else. Now she’s got to convince him that they’re meant to be together before she loses him forever.

We Lunch Break E-book columnists have often pointed out that the super-short books that we read for this column have one major obstacle to overcome: their length. For an author, it may mean having to write fewer pages, but it also means the added challenge of fitting a full, developed story into a quarter of the space of a regular novel. And that’s one limitation that author Lauri Robinson struggles with in Wish Craft.

Though the story is built on an interesting idea, it simply isn’t developed enough. Jayden is a fascinating character, and I would have liked to know more about her—about her past, her family situation, and her decision to travel back in time. I’d like to know more about how she discovered wish craft, too—and how quantum leaping is supposed to work. And the romance between Jayden and Levi, especially, could have used more space—because it feels rushed, almost like an afterthought.

I realize that all of that additional development is an awful lot to ask from such a short book, but it often feels as though important details are missing. And when Robinson does choose to develop her characters, their story, and their motivation, she often does so in long, rambling expository passages that seem forced and distracting—because she doesn’t have the luxury of being able to explain the situation gradually, over hundreds of pages.

Wish Craft could easily have been a full-length novel—and an engaging one at that. Although it could have benefited from some additional proof-reading, Robinson’s style is smooth and relaxed and easy to read. In fact, her easy-going style alone makes Wish Craft an enjoyable read. Still, the story is rather involved—and it could have used more space to develop the characters and their story. So while it makes an enjoyable lunch-break read, it probably would have been even better as a three-lunch read.

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