There is a small town called Madison on the edge of the Mojav desert. It is on the way to nowhere, and is unremarkable in every way to outsiders. However, there is a secret that the townsfolk guard with great caution. When you turn eighteen in Madison, you are taken to the “Wish Cave,” and you are granted one wish. This story tells of the power of optimism when confronted by reality. All is not what it seems when you think, at that age, you know what you will value for the rest of your life.
Eldon is about to turn eighteen. He has to attend classes to help him make good wish choices, and there are rules that must be adhered to, when it comes to wishes. There have been mistakes in the past, all of which are recorded. Someone wished to be left alone, accidentally, and he has been isolated ever since. Other rules include the wish for money. It can only be used in the town, so people are forced to stay.
The family of this young man is quite traumatised. Ebba, Eldon’s much loved sister was in a road accident and is only alive because of life support machines. His mother wants Eldon’s wish to be for money to bring in the world’s best specialists to restore the girl, but she is truly dead. Eldon’s mother and father are glaring examples of how a wish can go wrong. At eighteen all his mother wanted was for Harmon to love her forever. Harmon, a great footballer, wished to be the best footballer ever, but a severe injury ended his career. He fell in love with Luella, as wished for, but she lost interest in him as she matured.
The friends of Eldon and his classmates all have their wishes to look forward to. or have wished and are experiencing the consequences. The young man decides to research exactly how many people have had their lives changed for the better. The sadness that fills this town, dominated by the Mayor, arises mostly from the desire to change fate. In most cases it just doesn’t work.
The story is set out as a countdown to Eldon’s “Wish Day.” What he discovers makes him realise desperate action is required. There is much detail and analysis which takes the edge off the story. But the idea really gets you thinking.
|Distributor||New Soth Books|