Gayle De Blake explores life choices made by four friends approaching middle age in her novel, Wish Me Luck.
Lissa and Todd Benton live with their three children in Austin, Texas, near where Lissa’s best friend Kate, who is Todd’s sister, and her husband David reside with their son. To celebrate the approaching 40th birthdays of Lissa and Kate, both couples leave their children behind to go on vacation to Malta. Once there, they meet Yusaf, a local antiques dealer, who offers them an opportunity to travel back in time through a mysterious orb in order to relive their past 20 years with the possibility of changing events.
The journey into the past takes the friends back to 1999. Over the next two decades, each confronts choices that could change their lives and affect others. As Yusaf had warned, “Most people are content to fix their own mistakes and live better lives. Some want to change the world. Either way, it’s not as simple as it seems.” They find they cannot change
everything, and that some decisions made the second time around prove worse than the original ones.
De Blake draws believable characters, each of whom struggles with imperfections. She touches upon world events and technological changes during the past decades, which grounds the temporal setting and provides for humorous anachronistic references to things such as Google and Netflix. In covering 20 years, she sometimes relies on a bit too much narration, and some developments arising in the characters’ lives seem to have been accorded short shrift in order to maintain a quick pace.
Nevertheless, the interesting plot that raises questions about what living one’s best life entails and the surprise ending twist make for absorbing and introspective reading.
Also available as an ebook.