A sometimes funny, sometimes magical first novel, The Wishing Box explores the surprising and unintended consequences of getting what you ask for. Julia, an almost-30 single mom whose life is mostly together, lives in Oakland with her seven-year-old son. Never suspecting it will actually work, she and her sister create a wishing box and half-seriously hold a ceremony for the return of the father who abandoned them as children. Astonishingly, he comes back but Julia’s life has already moved abruptly in a new direction, and she has taken off in much the same way her father had many years before. Julia and her unusual family are at the heart of this novel about appearances and disappearances, the desire to control the future and explain the past, and the legacies passed on from one generation to another.