9780451415943

THE WISHING HILL

Holly Robinson

What if everything you knew about your life was wrong?

Years ago, Juliet Clark gave up her life in California to follow the man she loved to Mexico and pursue her dream of being an artist. Now her marriage is over, and she’s alone, selling watercolors to tourists on the Puerto Vallarta boardwalk.

When her brother asks her to come home to wintery New England and care for their ailing mother, a flamboyant actress with a storied past, Juliet goes reluctantly. She and her self-absorbed mother have always clashed. Plus, nobody back home knows about her divorce—or the fact that she’s pregnant and her ex-husband is not the father.

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What if everything you knew about your life was wrong?

Years ago, Juliet Clark gave up her life in California to follow the man she loved to Mexico and pursue her dream of being an artist. Now her marriage is over, and she’s alone, selling watercolors to tourists on the Puerto Vallarta boardwalk.

When her brother asks her to come home to wintery New England and care for their ailing mother, a flamboyant actress with a storied past, Juliet goes reluctantly. She and her self-absorbed mother have always clashed. Plus, nobody back home knows about her divorce—or the fact that she’s pregnant and her ex-husband is not the father.

Juliet intends to get her mother back on her feet and return to Mexico fast, but nothing goes as planned. Instead she meets a man who makes her question every choice and reawakens her spirit, even as she is being drawn into a long-running feud between her mother and a reclusive neighbor. Little does she know that these relationships hold the key to shocking secrets about her family and herself that have been hiding in plain sight.…

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Paperback

Price: $15.00

ISBN: 9780451415943

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About Holly Robinson

Holly Robinson‘s first book, The Gerbil Farmer’s Daughter, was a Target Breakout book. She lives in Boston with her family.

Praise

“A luminous novel of buried secrets.”New York Times bestselling author Caroline Leavitt

“A story about love, loss, secrets, and finding out where we’re really supposed to be.”Maddie Dawson, author of The Stuff that Never Happened

“A novel that sings: of love for a child, regret for life, and the quiet triumphs of survival and finding each other again.”Susan Straight, National Book Award nominee for Highwire Moon and author of Between Heaven and Here

“Vivid [and] compassionate.”Margot Livesey

Discussion Questions

In the very first scene of the novel Juliet watches the voladores, the Huichole Indians who climb a tall pole and spin outward from it with their feet attached to long red ribbons. Why is Juliet imagining herself spinning high above the crowd with them, “with nothing more to connect her to the ground than one of those thin, blood-red ribbons?” What does this scene do to explain her state of mind at the start of the novel?

Robinson chose to use only two points of view in The Wishing Hill—Juliet’s and Claire’s—instead of Desiree’s. How might the book have been different if she had used all three points of view?

Many of the main characters in the book keep secrets from the people they supposedly love most, yet keeping those secrets inevitably causes a lot of heartache. Are we ever completely truthful, even with the people in our own families? Should we be?

At one point in the novel, Desiree accuses Juliet of being just like Claire. Juliet, meanwhile, has always been worried that she’ll turn out like Desiree. How much do you think Juliet is like either woman? Do you think our personalities are more likely to be influenced by genetics or our upbringing?

Desiree is portrayed as a negligent mother—at times even a neglectful one. In what ways has she perhaps also had positive influences on Juliet’s life?

Ian is put off by the idea that Juliet hasn’t told the father of her baby that she is pregnant. In fact, Juliet hasn’t even tried to find him. Why not? Did she make the right decision?

Throughout the novel, Juliet compares her life in Mexico with life in the U.S. Claire experiences culture shock of her own when she travels to Mexico. What is the effect of this country on the two women? Why is Juliet’s decision to return to the States so conflicted each time?

What role do women’s friendships play in The Wishing Hill? How has Claire been influenced by Stephanie, and Juliet by Marisol and Nicole? What role do your friends play in your life?

What is a “good” mother, in your view? Is it ever too late to start over and become one if you haven’t succeeded as a parent in the past?

In the first scene between Michael and Juliet, Michael tries to excuse his behavior by saying, “I guess in the end it doesn’t matter, right? We both got what we wanted.” Did they get what they wanted, and how much did his betrayal matter?

In many ways, this is a novel about forgiveness. Do you think the main characters ever truly forgive each other for keeping such huge secrets? Do you think such forgiveness is possible in real life when someone you love lies to you?

Robinson leaves the ending of The Wishing Hill somewhat open. Why do you think she chose to do that? Do you feel like the main conflicts were resolved? How do you imagine the next few years for Claire, Desiree, and Juliet?