Almost a year after the death of his wife, Kate, former high-tech executive Ian finds a letter that will change his life.

The Wishing Trees - A novel by John Shors


Almost a year after the death of his wife, Kate, former high-tech executive Ian finds a letter that will change his life. It contains Kate’s final wish – a plea for him to take their ten-year-old daughter, Mattie, on a trip across Asia, through all the countries they had planned to visit to celebrate their fifteenth anniversary.

Eager to honor the wife and mother they loved, Ian and Mattie embark on an epic journey that retraces the early days of Ian’s relationship with Kate. Along the way, Ian and Mattie leave paper “wishes” in ancient trees as symbols of their connection to Kate and their dreams for the future. Through incredible landscapes and inspiring people, Ian and Mattie are greeted with miracles large and small. And as they celebrate what Kate meant to them, they begin to find their way back to each other, discovering that healing is possible and that love endures – lessons that Kate hoped to show them all along…


“John Shors’ The Wishing Trees is an affecting and sensitively rendered study of grief and loss, the healing power of artistic expression, and the life-altering rewards of travel to distant lands. I was deeply moved by this poignant and life-affirming novel.” – Wally Lamb, bestselling author of She’s Come Undone

“A moving, emotional story about coping and coming to terms with loss. Anyone who has lost a loved one will relate to this poignant novel.” – Booklist

“John Shors has made himself a reputation for recreating exotic landscapes that surround heartwarming stories with captivating details. The Wishing Trees is no exception, as he replaces what might be a standard tale of recovery from loss with an alluring travelogue, filled with colorful details of these chromatic countries.” – BookPage

“This poignant novel begins with a daunting scenario. To fulfill his dying wife’s last wish, the protagonist Ian sets out with his ten-year-old daughter, Mattie, to retrace the grand odyssey he and his wife had once made. This quest takes the grieving duo through Japan, Nepal, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Egypt. Through Ian’s and Mattie’s experiences, Shors masterfully depicts the atmosphere and idiosyncrasies of each country, beginning with the “wishing trees” of the title, which the couple first finds in Japan… Country by country, their odyssey transforms into a journey of worldly healing and renewal, nurtured by the wisdom and compassion they discover in the cultures they pass through, and by the realization of the commonalities–hope, death, love–that bind all fathers, mothers, and children.” – National Geographic Traveler

“Beautifully written, The Wishing Trees is a fascinating tale of a father and daughter on a spiritual and emotional journey–where they find love and forgiveness in the most unfamiliar but amazing places. The trials and triumphs of these characters serve to paint an emotionally resonant picture of their voyage as they’re able to miraculously transform their shared sorrow into acts of hope, kindness, and affection.” – Mahbod Seraji, bestselling author of Rooftops of Tehran

The Wishing Trees is a truly poignant novel of ultimate love, loss and healing… The novel left me thankful, content, and at peace, feeling as if I had traveled the world with two wonderful people. It is truly unique.” –

“I enjoyed every minute of this novel–even the ones that made me reach for my box of Kleenex. The journey I was taken on through many different countries–Japan, Nepal, Thailand, India, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Egypt–was incredible. Shors makes you feel like you are right there experiencing all the sights, sounds, foods, and people right along with the characters in the novel. Even more amazing is the journey Shors takes you through with your very own emotions. You can’t help but be deeply touched by this novel.” –

“An interesting look at grief… (Shors’) fans will appreciate the saga of a father and daughter struggling with the death of the loved one who made them a family.” – Midwest Book Review

“A masterpiece… With his trademark knack for immersing the reader in vivid settings, Shors has painted a picture of heartache and healing through the journey of a widowed father and daughter who wrench themselves from New York City to explore the mysteries of Asia together.” – 5280 Magazine

The Wishing Trees is a poignant tale about the power of healing through exploring and embracing foreign lands, ultimately bringing the travelers back to the people they love… Touchingly personal, Shors’ vivid descriptions throughout the novel are enough to transport you elsewhere.” – Sierra Club Magazine


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