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The Will of Wisteria    by Denise Hildreth order for
Will of Wisteria
by Denise Hildreth
Order:  USA  Can
Thomas Nelson, 2007 (2007)

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* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

Four spoiled adult children look forward to tomorrow's reading of their deceased father's will. Attorney Elizabeth Wilcott expects the inheritance of millions to give her power and influence in commercial real estate. Dr. Jeffrey Wilcott is a renowned plastic surgeon, known for making women beautiful. His family life is a mess, but money will give him breathing room. Mary Catherine Bean, the closest to their father, has not done much with her education or followed a career. She spends most of her time traveling and purchasing antiques. She and her new husband plan more traveling with the money. Will Wilcott is president of his fraternity and party-boy extraordinaire. He looks forward to the inheritance buying him even more freedom and friends.

Then, everything changes. All four siblings are masked and whisked off to an unknown location. There, they are confronted by the executor of their father's estate, who reads the will to them. Their father's requirement - in order for each of them to inherit their share of a billion dollars - is to leave their current jobs, avoid traveling, and work for a new job for free for a year. Their trust funds are cut off, except for basic living expenses. If they choose not to complete this task, the trust fund and inheritance will no longer be available to them. What do these selfish, spoilt adults do? Are they up for this giant challenge?

This is an intriguing, well-written novel. The plot is unique and each sibling's plight is unusual enough to cause readers to think and ponder different situations in their own lives. Each character has issues they are dealing with, and as these things come to light, they also take stock of their lives spiritually. I really appreciated the realistic direction of the plot as well. As with real life, not everything in the novel works out perfectly for every character. Some choose not to make the right choices and they suffer the consequences of their actions. But even those who choose a righteous path don't have everything sewn up neatly and tidily.

The Will of Wisteria never preaches, and doesn't come across as heavy handed in its spiritual message. Though it may seem like regular readers would have nothing in common with these spoiled, wealthy characters, their issues are universal. The author includes just the right amount of humor to keep the plot from becoming too heavy. The balance between lesson learning and entertainment is ideal. The Will of Wisteria is an excellent novel, filled with life lessons and interesting circumstances that will keep readers turning pages. This is one for the keeper shelf, and would make an excellent choice for a discussion group, as questions are included at the back of the book.

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