Monday, September 5, 2016

Review: The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell

The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop CrispellThe Secret Ingredient of Wishes
by Susan Bishop Crispell
September 6, 2016
304 pages

Goodreads Summary:
A charming and utterly delicious novel about wishes, secrets, and the power of pie, set in a small rural town in North Carolina.

26-year-old Rachel Monroe has spent her whole life trying to keep a very unusual secret: she can make wishes come true. And sometimes the consequences are disastrous. So when Rachel accidentally grants an outlandish wish for the first time in years, she decides it’s time to leave her hometown—and her past—behind for good.

Rachel isn’t on the road long before she runs out of gas in a town that’s not on her map: Nowhere, North Carolina—also known as the town of “Lost and Found.” In Nowhere, Rachel is taken in by a spit-fire old woman, Catch, who possesses a strange gift of her own: she can bind secrets by baking them into pies. Rachel also meets Catch’s neighbor, Ashe, a Southern gentleman with a complicated past, who makes her want to believe in happily-ever-after for the first time in her life.

As she settles into the small town, Rachel hopes her own secrets will stay hidden, but wishes start piling up everywhere Rachel goes. When the consequences threaten to ruin everything she’s begun to build in Nowhere, Rachel must come to terms with who she is and what she can do, or risk losing the people she’s starting to love—and her chance at happiness—all over again.


The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is a delicious read. Its genuine characters, realistic issues, and honest romance all roll up into a wonderfully heartfelt story. I especially couldn't get enough of the yummy pies!

Rachel can grant wishes. She has never been in control of her ability and has always feared it. Needing an escape from her current life, she finds herself in this odd but unique little town called Nowhere. It's a place where everyone believes in a little magic. There she meets an elderly woman named Catch who has her own sort of magical ability. Catch helps Rachel to open up to her power and be brave about what she's lost.

Honestly I was surprised not more people wanted to take advantage of Rachel's ability. Most actually resented her despite her not ever using her ability for any bad deeds. She made one innocent mistake when she was young. That led to a lot of pain but in the long run, it also brought some good into Rachel's life. The choice she ends up making because of it is a noble one (letting the brother she wished away stay as Ashe's brother because he's established himself and is happy with his life). I cannot imagine the emotions Rachel struggled through to come to her decision but it only proved how selfless she is.

In the face of all the supernatural abilities, the conflicts were notably human. I liked that a lot. Ms. Crispell works them naturally into the storyline. The issues were relevant to real life and didn't necessarily require magic to fix. For the most part, Rachel's ability only helped in an overall sense- as indirect approaches to minimize the hurt that would result from any fallouts.

The secondary characters acted as really nice buffers. They didn't pick and choose sides but were very mature and understanding of each situation. Rachel's best friend, Mary Beth especially made me tear up with her unwavering support. I was shocked by some of their connections but not entirely surprised. It is called the town of "Lost and Found" for a reason.

The concept of "you win some and you lose some" really played out in The Secret Ingredient of Wishes. Some things are better left undisturbed but a little part of me couldn't help but hope for some more secrets to come out so bigger dramas can emerge. At first I felt a bit unfulfilled but now that I think back, that ending was for the best.

My mouth was literally watering reading The Secret Ingredient of Wishes. I really want to try some of those pies! They sound divine. Maybe I should wish for some and hope that it'll come true ;)

4 Cats
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way.


  1. Ahhhh, food and magic! The description reminds me a little of a mashup with the movies 'Practical Magic' and 'Simply Irresistible". I just saw this book added by a fiend on GR, which is why I stopped by!
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
    Follow me on Bloglovin'

  2. I meant 'friend' not 'fiend'! haha

    1. No worries, I got it ;) I hope you'll enjoy it and crave pie afterwards!!


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