The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride by Joe Siple is a heart-warming story about a former Chicago Cubs player, Murray McBride, a hundred-year-old man who has recently lost his wife. With few friends and only a grandson as family, the old timer has lost the will to live until he meets the fragile Jason Cashman, a ten-year-old struggling with a failing heart.
The presentation of Murray grabs the reader from the start. The lonely man visits his internist, who understands Murray’s predicament and suggests he visit the hospital to comfort a sick young boy. This boy turns out to be Jason. Murray has a medical condition, too. He must faithfully take his medicine to prevent fluid from entering his lungs and a certain death. He even contemplates not taking his pill before he meets Jason.
The two characters bond immediately, and when Murray finds a list of five wishes that Jason desires before the child dies, the former baseball star is determined to help Jason accomplish his wishes.
The rest of the story chronicles the adventures of Murray and Jason as they seek to fulfill Jason’s wishes. It isn’t until the end that Murray’s five wishes become apparent.
This novel displays the importance of having something to live for. Without wishes and Jason, Murray seems aimless and hopeless, even to the point of committing suicide by not taking his pill. As Jason and Murray’s bond becomes stronger, Murray learns to be thankful for what he has, namely a remaining relative in Chance, his grandson, and a long life lived to the fullest. Yes, the old man has regrets, but in the course of his relationship with Jason, he learns to forgive himself for his mistakes.
Congratulations to Joe Siple on a well-thought-out and touching novel. It has won many awards and is available on Black Rose Writing’s website, among other outlets including Amazon.