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Day: March 19, 2018

“As You Wish” by Jude Deveraux

“As You Wish” by Jude Deveraux
c.2018, Mira
$26.99 / $33.50 Canada
416 pages

 

Book Review by TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER

If you could, would you take it all back?

Every misunderstanding, cross word, and cold shoulder, erased. Time wasted, retrieved. Hurtful situations never happened. Would you eliminate each of them or, as in the new novel “As You Wish” by Jude Deveraux, would you change the entire course of your life?

Olivia Montgomery had never met her two new charges.

For that matter, she hadn’t met the therapist who sent them, either.

This wasn’t her idea. Olivia’s husband, Kit, was away on business and the doctor, who owned a cottage near the Montgomery ’s new home, needed someone to escort two of her patients there for a weekend retreat. Olivia wasn’t supposed to otherwise be involved but a chaperone had dropped out at the last minute; to her annoyance, Olivia had to step in and play den mother to two strangers.

Ray was a nice guy and, as it happened, he was at the retreat to figure out if he wanted a divorce. His wife, Kathy, was clingy and he’d met someone else but he couldn’t bear to hurt Kathy’s feelings and he didn’t know what to do.

It was a different story for Elise. She arrived at the cottage with a tale of escape from a psychiatric hospital, having been institutionalized by her father and her husband, who’d almost killed her. She, too, wanted a divorce but circumstances prevented it.

Olivia was good at listening and she was willing to do that with these young people but she had her own problems, including angry memories of time wasted. Still, she almost had to get involved when Kathy showed up and Ray departed for a business meeting, leaving Kathy behind.

Suddenly, the reasoning behind this retreat felt different and Olivia began to share her deepest hurts, just as Elise and Kathy shared theirs. They all knew that the past was past but, when offered an extraordinary chance to set things right, they knew it was time to find their own, better futures…

Initially, you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t wish to return to “As You Wish.”

Not to be prudish, but the beginning of this novel includes a lot of overfamiliarity: two of the female characters undress, for instance, and go streaking within hours of meeting one another. They then have an inappropriate conversation with a male character, who is also basically a stranger, about his sexual fantasies. This randy informality runs on and off throughout and while the girl-bonding parts fit into the story, the rest feels cringeworthy and gratuitously giggly.

Fortunately, these squirms don’t define author Jude Deveraux’s book. Once Olivia, Elise, and Kathy get over the über-lecherousness and into their narratives, readers are taken back and forth in time and there’s a delightful tale to be had, with a magical finish that’s wonderfully fantasy-inspired.

Charmed is what will happen by this books’ end, but there’s a lot of tee-hee-ing to endure first. Get past that, though, and stick around. “As You Wish” is a story for which you’ll take great pleasure.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin

Celtics get first win

By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes

McNary (1-2) celebrated its first win of the season, defeating Willamette 8-5 on Friday, Match 16.

The Celtics broke the game open in the bottom of the third.

After David Allen singled and then stole second to start the inning, Ryan Thompson and Robert Benson both drew walks to load the bases with no outs.

With two strikes, Lance Becktel then drove in Allen and Thompson with a base hit to left field to give McNary a 2-0 lead.

“I was looking to stay alive in that at-bat,” Becktel said. “I was looking for anything close to RBI and I hit the ball and it lucked out for us. We’ve been waiting for this today. We really wanted it. After struggling at the plate the first two games, it felt good to finally let it all go and start hitting the ball.”

After Collin Wentworth hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Benson, Becktel scored on an infield error to stretch the lead to 4-0.

The Celtics scored two more runs in the fifth.

Allen reached on an infield single, stole second, got to third on a passed ball and then came home on a wild pitch. Thompson drew another walk and scored on a single by Benson.

“I thought we had really good base running and took advantage of some balls that were in play that they didn’t make plays on and we took some extra bases,” McNary head coach Larry Keeker said. “Scored a couple of runs on ground balls that were thrown over to first and they couldn’t complete the play and we were able to score on that. I thought our base running was pretty good.”

Willamette got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, scoring two unearned runs on four infield errors.

“Our defense needs to get better,” Keeker said. “Our pitching staff is not built to withstand a lot of free bases so we have to play good defense for us to be successful this season. We’re going to have to get better in that area. We just can’t afford that many extra base runners.”

Devon Bedoya, who transferred to McNary from Salem Academy, started on the mound in place of Kyle McCallister, who missed the game with an illness. Bedoya went five innings, allowing two hits and three walks, to earn the win.

“It was my 6A debut,” Bedoya said. “It felt nerve-racking but I kept calm and played some catch with Ty (Covalt) and Ty did a good job back there (catcher). I just stayed focus and kept rethinking what our coaches told us over and over again and cleared my mind and just worked.”

The Celtics answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth as Thompson had a RBI single.

Benson got the final six outs to finish off the Wolverines.

“We’re encouraged,” Keeker said. “I like the guys’ attitudes right now. We’re learning how to compete.”

McNary is playing in the Volcano Stadium tournament March 28-31.

The Celtics open with Aloha on March 28 at 6 p.m.

Group will celebrate Latino scholars

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Rev. Jose Dominguez was awarded a whopping $75 scholarship when he graduated from Woodburn High School in 1978. But, it wasn’t the amount of money that had the most resounding impact.

“It was the thought that somebody cared about my education. It also helped me believe that I could do it and it made me want to give back to the community,” said Dominguez at a recent Keizer City Council meeting.

Now the lead pastor of Keizer’s La Luz De Valle, Dominguez and a group of local Latino leaders is hoping to do the same thing for some soon-to-be McNary High School graduates.

“We would like to be able to present 10 to 20 ex-migrant or bilingual graduates with $100 scholarships,” Dominguez said.

The group presenting the scholarships is known as Latinos in Action Committee and its members are seeking to “manifest Latino representation in the community of Keizer on all levels of education and civic affairs.”

Dominguez, speaking as representative for the group, talked with members of the city council during its past two meetings as the group sought a waiver of rental fees and costs for a planned reception at the Keizer Civic Center. The council approved the request at its meeting Monday, March 5.

Dominguez said the members of Latinos in Action, which include City Councilor Roland Herrera, have been meeting informally for the past three years brainstorming ways to connect the Latino community with faith organizations, businesses and, especially, education.

“Most of us are ex-migrants who had to overcome huge challenges to get an education and succeed in our professions,” Dominguez said.

The scholarships are intended to further the mission of the group. Current McNary High School students can find out more about the scholarship opportunities at McNary’s College and Career Center. Donations to the scholarship fund can be dropped off at La Luz De Valle church, 606 Dearborn Avenue N.E. Donations can be made to “LAC,” which is operating under the non-profit designation of the church for the time being.

The first Latino Recognition Scholarship Reception is slated for Thursday, May 10, at the Keizer Civic Center.

“It’s an opportunity to celebrate them overcoming challenges and socioeconomic barriers to graduation,” Dominguez said.