Wish I May, Wish I Might. . .
by Barbara Elliott Carpenter
Finding yourself is the greatest endeavor in life. Sometimes it takes great challenges or tragedies to help us to look within. Sometimes we get there through laughter and love. Mostly, it takes a lot of everything, ups and downs, to understand ourselves. In Barbara Elliott Carpenter’s novel, “Wish I May, Wish I Might…” readers witness one girl’s journey to inner self.
In 1954, Sissy Bannister moves from the place she knew as home in Illinois, to West Virginia. At 14, she isn’t happy about leaving behind her world, but she soon finds a brand new one waiting to be explored. Making new friends is just the beginning. Sissy experiences differences in beliefs and attitudes in the people around her and begins to learn what she believes in herself. Desegregation, varying religious beliefs, and class relationships are all part of her lesson plan. Dealing with family trials and tribulations isn’t easy either and Sissy learns how important family bonds are, many times over. A schizophrenic uncle, an almost missing sister, and the stories of her parents’ lives are woven into her soul’s fibers. Her friendships, with other teens and with other adults bring more chances to learn about life, and herself. As the years pass, Sissy grows into a young woman she can be proud of, holding on to her fiery youth but also embracing the heart-touching moments of her life.
Barbara Elliott Carpenter leads readers on a journey of small town America, coal mines, colorful characters, romance and fun, heartbreak and tragedy. “Wish I May, Wish I Might” evokes varying emotions, reaching out through vignettes of life that have a homey familiarity. Sissy is so real she leaps off the pages and into your heart. Watching her come into her own was a pleasure. Carpenter offers a memorable and enjoyable read. I laughed, and I cried, and I loved every minute of it. Well done!