I thought this novel was super sweet. As I listened to the audio, I could feel the frustration and the anger as Charlie is taken from her home and plopped right down in the middle of nowhere. She isn’t staying, this sorry place of a town is not for her. This is hillbilly country! She’s just there until her mother gets better and her father gets corrected and did you see the house she’s staying in? It’s hanging off the side of the mountain, for goodness sakes! Don’t let Charlie get started on the kids in her school because they’re just as different as they could come, there’s no one like her old friend Jackie. This is only temporary, only until her parents get better. Charlie needs to keeps making her daily wishes, she has to, she can’t stop now.
Charlie is determined to go back home. Nothing in Colby is like it is back home even when things are going well. Charlie needs to believe that someday she will be going home and in her mind, going home creates a rosy picture even if deep down inside, she knows better. Living now with Aunt Bertha and Uncle Gus, they try to create a warm, cozy experience for her but Charlie doesn’t want to settle in, she fights it. Most of the children at school welcome her with open arms. She fights their ways but the longer she stays in Colby, the more comfortable she becomes. A stray dog become an obsession and with help, they soon have him on a leash and she has a new friend. It finally comes, a phone call from her mother, the call that she has been waiting for finally arrives but now, is Charlie ready to go back home? Where is her home now?
Charlie was such a typical child that she won my heart over. She wasn’t angry at her current situation nor did she take advantage of it, she was waiting for things to work themselves out. People had explained things to her and she believed them, she knew no different. She had a terrific mindset and an ability to think for herself. She knew what she wanted, she just didn’t know how to achieve it. Heck, she had been wishing for the same thing for years and hadn’t given up on it. Wishing every day! Wishing on crickets, wishing on butterflies, yellow railroad cars, lightening bugs, three birds sitting on a wire, etc. this girl had oodles of things she could wish on. I loved listening to Charlie talk about her new life and the individuals around her. She had me laughing a few times as she went on about them and things they did and what she thought about it. The ending, as things played out, I wasn’t sure who was happier as the dust settled. I know the story is not over for Charlie as there is much more out in the world for her to explore.