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What You Wish for [Abridged, Audiobook] [Audio CD]

Fern Michaels , Laural Merlington

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Book Description

28 Jun 2011
If her abusive husband hadn't tried to kill her and her beloved dog Lucie, Helen Ward might never have left her million-dollar home and run far away. Now Helen's changed her identity and moved across the country, hopeful that she can be safe, happy, maybe even loved. When she meets college professor, Sam Tolliver, she begins to believe fairytales do come true. But even with love blossoming and her new online business venture taking off, Helen knows the past is catching up with her...and her fear is growing. Wanting to flee, desperate to get away for good, she'll soon face the biggest decision of her life, a decision that will determine her future and her very identity.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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More About the Author

Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a biography this way: A biography is the written history of a person's life. Fern Michaels isn't a person. Fern Michaels is what I DO. Me, Mary Ruth Kuczkir. Growing up in Hastings, Pennsylvania, I was called Ruth. I became Mary when I entered the business world where first names were the order of the day. To this day, family and friends call me Dink, a name my father gave me when I was born because according to him I was `a dinky little thing' weighing in at four and a half pounds. However, I answer to Fern since people are more comfortable with a name they can pronounce.
I've been telling stories and scribbling for twenty-five years. I hope I can continue for another twenty-five years. It wasn't easy during some of those years. As I said, I had to persevere. My old Polish grandmother said something to me when I was little that I never forgot. She said when God is good to you, you have to give back. For a while I didn't know how to do that. When I finally figured it out I set up The Fern Michaels Foundation. The foundation allows me to grant four year scholarships to needy, deserving students. I then went a step further and opened pre-school and day care centers with affordable rates for single moms who are having a hard time of it. Doing Fern Michaels allows me to do this and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for being so good to me. I don't know what I'm the most proud of, the books I write, the scholarships, the pre-schools or the fact that I put my kids through college on my own with no help from anyone. Probably the latter because when all else is said and done, the only thing that matters is family.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  107 reviews
61 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fern Michaels is one of our best writers 28 Sep 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Helen Wood seems to have it all. She owns an exquisite home, beautiful clothing, and tasteful furniture. In reality, Helen lives the life of horror, a long time victim of spousal abuse. Her injuries have been so numerous, Helen wonders when he will kill her. Helen's sole companion and friend is her Yorkshire Terrier Lucie. This time her husband Daniel goes too far, hurting Lucie. Helen fights back by knocking him out with a poker. Grabbing Lucie, she flees to a vet to obtain care for her injured canine's leg.

The vet calls wealthy Isabel Tyger who runs shelters and an underground railroad for battered women. Taking one look at Helen and Lucie, Isabel knows. She places the Californian and her dog in New Jersey where they meet Sam. Sam and Helen fall in love, but she knows the dangerous Daniel still searches to find her to enact a most brutal punishment for what he regards as her betrayal.

Spousal abuse is rarely the centerpiece of a romance novel as it is considered to harsh of a topic. However, the adept Fern Michaels succeeds in showcasing the horrors of abuse without preaching pat solutions to a complex problem. Helen is not only ashamed... but so humiliated that she struggles with the concept of happiness. That is part of Ms. Michaels' message: abuse is more than physical, it is mental and emotional hitting the entire community. WHAT YOU WISH FOR is a deep and complex contemporary tale that combines an in-depth look at a troubling social issue with a bit of romance to takes some of the edge off it. Only the incomparable Ms. Michaels could make that combo work.

Harriet Klausner
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 11 Oct 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I agree with one of the previous reviewers that Fern Michaels is one of our best writers. What You Wish For is a story of a woman in an abusive marriage who overcomes many obstacles including shame and humiliation to take back control of her life and eventually find happiness. I was so moved by this story that I've been checking out various womens' shelters in the area with a view toward volunteering my time to help out others in similar situations.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Wished For in a Good Read!!! 10 Oct 2000
By jimmie - Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoyed this book. It grabbed my attention right at the start and I still didn't want to put it down at 2:30 a.m. This book had a lot of the things that I look for in a novel - suspense, romance, lighter moments, plus the villain was her husband (aren't they always?) I really felt for our heroine and her little dog in their predicament. I read bestsellers, favorite authors, just about anything out there, and I enjoyed this book more than anything else I've read this year.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved It 25 Mar 2002
By "wildwoodldy" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am glad I did not let the previous negative reviews stop me from reading this book. I found it to a very good read. The book begins with,Helen, a beat-down battered wife who is married to a controling over bearing abusive husband(Daniel). Daniel has destroyed Helen's self-confidence, her self-worth, her self-esteem, among many other things. He finally almost kills her dog,Lucie. Helen loves her pet like Lucie was Helen's child. One of the turning point of the the story is when Helen runs from Daniel to protect Lucie's life.
Helen comes in contact with people who can help her rebuild her life. They give her the opportunity to regain all Daniel has taken from her. I love the parts of the book that show how strong Helen becomes. The ending is equal to a fair tale story of love and happiness.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fern Michaels turns adversity to triumph 9 Aug 2001
By C. Penn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It was the worst beating ever. Bad enough he left her needing stitches, or that her black eyes will take weeks to heal. But for the first time, Daniel vented on the small dog Lucie as well. It was her breaking point. Striking back, Helen strikes back with a poker and flees into the night with the small terrier. A chance ride, a kind vet, and a connection to a women's shelter results in a new identity and new life for herself and the dog.
When Daniel's family oriented boss gives him an ultimatum, he finds himself either producing his wife or finding a new job. Had he behaved, he'd have taken the CEO's place when he retires. Now Daniel wants revenge. As a computer whiz, he knows all the gimmicks required to locate a woman who's gone underground. And he'll do anything to find the woman he blames for all that's gone wrong in his life.
Helen takes a new name, Nancy Butler, and begins the long path to recovery. She drives cross-country from California to New Jersey where a new life, with a home and a job, await. She meets a marvelous new friend Sam with a dog of his own. Slowly she learns to trust again, to be friends again, to fall in love. But always in the background lurks the dangerous memory of the man who wants her dead. As long as she's legally married to him, she'll never be free. Further, she has no doubt he'll never stop stalking her.
Fern Michaels turns adversity to triumph in WHAT YOU WISH FOR, a heart touching account of the painful world of shelters and subterfuge. Michaels draws us into the world of spousal abuse, a topic seldom touched among romance novelists. Rather than preaching to the choir, she follows the path of recovery, including reestablishing and redefining one's self-identity. This marvelous author brings a deep understanding of the issue of spousal abuse to her work, allowing her prose to lend her heroine strength and beauty to an otherwise ugly topic. In addition, Isabel Tyger is marvelous secondary character, ferocious to protect the women in her shelter, imperfect, deeply influencing many of the characters. WHAT YOU WISH FOR comes very highly recommended.
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