Penny Wishes is a book about two triangles of friends. It is also about one life-changing event that happened to one triangle of friends whose repercussions would affect the other nearly 50 years later.
When Grampa James comes to visit his grown daughter, he grows increasingly alarmed about odd coincidences, and about a dark secret buried deep in his past, as he discovers more about Penny, the strange friend of his 15 year old granddaughter Alex.
Told from three different characters’ points of view, this is a story of words and deeds that should have been said or done, and never were. It is also a story of triangles: of Grampa James, Alex, and her friend Penny who connect with unexpected consequences in the present time, and of a young teen boy named Jimmy and his two best friends, all of whom were forever changed because of one singular event which occurred in 1959.
Alex pulled into the lot and got off her bike. She walked it to the back of the minivan, which her mother had parked in an empty space. Alex’s mom helped her put the bike inside the back of the minivan, and both of them got into the car.
Alex's mom asked, “Who was the girl on the bike next to you? Was that your friend Penny?”
“Yeah, that was Penny.”
Alex buckled up her seat belt and glanced around the parking lot. Penny was nowhere to be seen.
Leaning slightly forward towards her mother, Alex said, “Penny told me she had to pick up a loaf of bread—although I don't see her or her bike anywhere around here now. And her bike's not in the bike rack over there, either. I guess maybe she changed her mind. Who knows, with Penny. She sure is different.”
“Oh?” said Alex's grandfather.
Alex went on. “I mean, if she lives here, why would she think there’s a grocer on Belmont? There’s only Mendelsohn's Ice Cream, the yoga place, the drug store, and the dry cleaner right here in this strip mall. So weird!”
Alex's grandfather took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “There used to be a corner grocer here, but it was a very long time ago,” he said hoarsely.
Alex, still leaning forward, turned to look at her grandfather, and seeing the ashen color in his face, said, “Oh my gosh! Grampa, are you all right? Because you really look like you’re gonna be sick!”