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Reviewed by Ann Neville for Readers' Favorite
Molly Bell and the Wishing Well, written by Bridget Geraghty, is about an eleven-year old girl who relished life and her beloved soccer until the untimely death of her cherished mother two years ago. Then, more disaster, her father decides to re-marry - to someone Molly seemingly has nothing in common with and, to top it all off, she comes with an annoying six-year old son, Henry, who manages to wreck everything in his path. Can the wishing well on her grandparents’ farm bring back happiness? Molly is in for a few surprises, and more than a few hard lessons about being careful what you wish for. Or does she need to find it within herself to bring back the joy in her life that has been missing all this time?
Molly Bell and the Wishing Well is a gripping novel for preteens filled with grief, jealousy, poignancy and, finally, hope. I am impressed by the way in which Bridget Geraghty has managed to show Molly’s transition through despair to hope in a tangible way so that the reader can also feel Molly’s grief and loss of confidence in herself – I had to reach for the tissues myself! But Bridget Geraghty also managed to draw my emotions towards Henry who, initially, comes across as an unlikable child, but ends up being someone who pulled at my heartstrings as well. The parallel story of Grandpa Cody adds weight to Molly’s story, and using the metaphor of the wishing well also resonates. It is Geraghty's wish that Molly and the Wishing Well inspires her readers ‘to consider new perspectives, strive for a deeper understanding, and reach towards a bright and hopeful future.’ She has certainly achieved this. I unreservedly recommend this book.