Story Wonders: A Review of Wishtree, Sugar, and Stephen King

Topics: Book review
Wishtree Cover

I am not like Stephen King.

(I bet you are not surprised.)

I know this because I adore stories without horror that instead have sweet characters and even sweeter endings that hit me straight in the feels.

Wishtree is one of those stories. A few years back I wrote about The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate and I can still feel the warmth of that tale every time I think of the gorilla character. In fact, I think of Applegate’s story when I walk past the statue to Ivan at the zoo with my skipping seven-year-old.

Ivan look alike

Her most recent book has a tree named Red as the main character. Red breaks the rules and talks to humans in order to save a girl facing prejudice and loneliness. It took me a few pages to sink in but then the author’s lyric style had me hooked and easily pulled me through to the last page.

Animals in Wishtree

Wishtree was the perfect read for a rainy fall day when the trees here have carpeted the ground with their brown, red, and orange creations.

In truth, I do have one thing in common with Stephen King.

I, too, have felt bad about the stories I love to read and those I want to write. I suppose he may be shamed much more for his horror than I am for my softly sweet tales, but I get what King says in this line:

“I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.”

And, ironically, a part of me feels a little tougher and cooler because Mr. King and I have that one thing in common. How funny is that? 

I hope somewhere out there he might feel a little more accepted because a super softy like me admires him for keeping up his craft when others have tried to make him feel lousy about it.

Meanwhile, I keep writing and reading those happy endings.


About the author: Karrie Zylstra Myton is a blogger, essayist, and aspiring author who writes for the wild joy it brings on the best days and the hard lessons she learns about life on the worst. After crafting stories in the ridiculously early morning hours, she chases her two sons, cuddles with cats, and laughs with her husband about how crazy life can get in middle age.

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