Reviewed by Kathie Smith

What You Wish For chronicles the lives of several single characters as they make decisions and follow their individual paths regarding having children. Reichs covers the spectrum, from trying desperately to have a child to being adamant about not wanting a child at all.

Dimple is an actress who wants a child and feels her biological clock ticking away. She divides her time between her television acting role, carrying out bizarre auditions for a prominent movie director who has surprisingly tapped her as a possible lead, and culling through a full list of anonymous sperm donor profiles.

Wyatt is a school principle who desperately wants to adopt a baby. It is a difficult process for a single man, but Wyatt found a pregnant mother through an adoption agency and is eagerly anticipating the birth of his child. Unfortunately, fraud and blackmail lead to Wyatt resigning himself that his dream of becoming a father is unlikely to come true.

Maryn is a strong business woman who coped with being abandoned by her husband while fighting, and winning, a daunting battle with breast cancer. She and her ex-husband initially planned to have a family and had embryos frozen as a precaution prior to her cancer treatment. Now she healthy and eager to proceed with pregnancy, but her ex-husband will not release his consent for her to use the embryos. Maryn finds herself unwillingly thrust into the public and political spotlight

Eva is certain that she does not want children and has been honest about this fact with her boyfriend, Bryan, from the beginning of their relationship. He assumes she will change her mind once they are married while she insists that she will not be swayed. This naturally leads to problems in their relationship and Eva finds herself defending her decision in a society that does not seem to understand or approve.

A subject so personal and complex can easily lead to flat cookie-cutter characters and a weak attempt to cover so many variations. Reichs is able to convey the essence of each character in such a way that the reader can fully connect, understand and sympathize with them. There is a bit of implausibility in the fact that all of these people happen to already know each other or meet during the book, but Reichs has done a nice job of keeping the connections reasonably believable.

What You Wish For is an engaging read about non-traditional approaches to pregnancy and parenting. Reichs covers the subject with honesty, sensitivity and humor that readers will find refreshing.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Kathie is a writer, wife, mother and volunteer living in the beautiful Appalachian mountains. Her passion for the written word is fulfilled by creating her own fictional work, freelancing, acting as an adviser to another author, and reading with her six year old daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.