THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE by Marybeth Meyhew Whalen & Giveaway


In Marybeth Mayhew Whalen’s new novel, THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE (Lake Union Publishing), tragedy strikes at the community pool, bringing together the entire neighborhood. The Sycamore Glen Neighborhood Pool opens on Memorial Day weekend, like it always does and it looks like it’s going to be a peaceful summer, until it isn’t.

Sycamore Glen in Matthews, North Carolina looks like most suburbs. It has lovely homes with families who go to work and school. The yards are nicely mowed, trees, bushes and flowers are well-landscaped with at least one car in the driveway. But behind the closed doors, each household has its own set of secrets.

At the center of THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE, Jencey Cabot and her two young tween daughters Pilar and Zara, drive to Sycamore Glen thinking it’ll only be for a week or so. Once Jencey left for college years ago, she thought she left small town living behind for good. But after living the highlife, her hubby is caught in a money scam and hauled off to jail. With nowhere else to go, Jencey turns to mom and dad in Sycamore Glen, who can’t wait to see their granddaughters.

It’s not long before Jencey runs into her old flame and former best friend, Bryte and Everett, who are married with a nearly three-year old son named Christopher. Bryte is torn about going back to work, while Everett wants more kids.

Lance’s wife, Debra leaves town and her two young children, ten-year old, Lilah and her younger brother, Alec behind. He’s half out of his mind trying to be a single parent, working and now he has to turn to neighbors he doesn’t know for help.

Cailey and Cutter are two young kids, eleven and six, along with their drug-addicted mother living in the neighborhood eyesore. The neighbors are embarrassed by what the house looks like and want nothing to do with the family. Cailey and Cutter spend all their time at the neighborhood pool.

Zell is an older-woman living with her husband John. She’s a nosy-body keeping tabs on all her neighbors and the happenings of Sycamore Glen.

The big news story is a missing girl around Cailey’s age, and everyone is kind of on edge seeing her face on the television and billboards. Last but not least, there’s a strange older single guy named Mr. Doyle living in a dark house and all the kids have been told to stay away from him.

Whalen writes an ever-shifting narrative that keeps the pace moving, filled with numerous well-developed characters. Honestly, I applaud her for creating such diverse characters with unique characteristics. The family dynamics within each group and ease at which they came together with the community was written brilliantly.

THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE examines how appearances don’t always add up and the power of community. In many ways, family become strangers and strangers become family. Can and do we really know those closest to us.

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Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of five previous novels and she is the cofounder of the popular women’s fiction site She Reads. Marybeth and her husband, Curt, have been married for twenty-four years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina.She is always at work on her next novel.

Website | She Reads | Facebook | Twitter

Thanks to Lake Union Press and TLC Book Tours   we have one copy of THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE to giveaway. Just tell us about something that happened in your community that had all the neighbors talking.

We’ll announce a winner Saturday. Good luck!

*NetGalley provided a copy for an honest review

25 thoughts on “THE THINGS WE WISH WERE TRUE by Marybeth Meyhew Whalen & Giveaway

  1. Stuff that has our town talking…oh boy, where to begin. Well a shady ex-mayor causing probs for the new mayor, a growing heroine epidemic, and our lighthouse finally being done being refurbed. Little town so there’s always tons of gossip as well. 😉👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I live near (not in) Steubenville, Ohio. So, recently, in the area, is the photo that Police took involving the couple who overdosed on heroin with their 4 year old in the car. Apparently, that has gone nationwide and everyone has an opinion. It is true that there is way too much of a drug problem in our neighborhoods around here and everyone tries to do what they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In our small rural community, The Scarecrow Festival is coming back. This has caused a lot of buzz in the town. After a disastrous economic downturn perhaps things are looking up.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Upon reading the comments posted so far, I decided to share a good thing happening in our small rural community. After the drastic economic fallout our Alliance for a Prosperous Downtown decided to bring back The Scarecrow Festival. This has many people excited and talking. We are hoping to jumpstart the area again.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I decided to share a positive post on what people are talking about in the community. After the disastrous economic fallout our little town has suffered. A group of people came together and formed The Alliance for a Prosperous Downtown. In years past we have hosted The Scarecrow Festival.The good news it’s coming back this weekend. This has created a buzz in the community.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We got a big monsoon storm that caused some flooding in some areas. That’s all I can think of. Not too much excitement around here I guess! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Just last weekend my city had a 9-11 remembrance. 10 years ago, they acquired a beam form the World Trade Center and centered it in a new park called Freedom Park. We had the last survivor who was pulled out of the rubble as a speaker. It was very inspiring and I am proud of my city for doing this. I was glad to be there to participate in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the biggest things happened several years ago. A 15 year old boy stabbed his mother and twin sister to death. Very sad and heartbreaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just last night a neighbor posted on our neighborhood FB page that a car and its driver had been parsec outside her house for 2 days, with a clipboard. We all told her to call the police, and they sent 3 patrol cars! We heard the guy was a PI, but shortly after he left, all 3 cars sped out of the neighborhood, lights and sirens on!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Recently we were preparing for hurricane Hermine here at the NC coast. Fortunately we only received tons or rain but no damaging winds.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. we had a bank robbery and they still haven’t caught the guy. they think he may have robbed other smaller banks. (at least he hasn’t physically hurt anyone; just stole money)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. About a mile away, there was a problem a week or so ago where a neighborhood was blocked off by SWAT for almost 24 hours because a guy barricaded himself in his house after a domestic disturbance. BTW, his wife was okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Several years ago a soldier my daughters age died in Irag. The town came together for the family. There was an amazing church service and memorial for him. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. One of our on air news reporters husbands barricaded himself in their house high on drugs.Swatvteam was called out.This is a smallbtown&everyone talked about the episode,


  14. It’s been pretty quiet in our neighborhood lately, but we always have that nosey neighbor that seems to have the scoop on everyone and everything in the neighborhood!


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