What we are reading: You Wish by Lia Weston

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‘You Wishis a dramatic thriller by Adelaide-based author Lia Weston. It delves into the chaotic mind of graphic design extraordinaire, Thomas Lash who runs a company called IF (Ignaas Fatius). IF sells the impossible dream to customers by doctoring photos perfectly, achieving false memories of weddings, holidays and even adult lives of deceased children.

The work is ethically dubious but enormously popular, and Lash soon finds himself drawn in to his own creations, which leads him away from the solid world of family and friends.

It is a disturbing insight into a potential future, ruled by an indiscernible feeling that you can’t believe everything on the web.

While the story occasionally leans on the novelty of the technology in lieu of riveting dialogue, is it saved by the very real complications of the characters on its pages, who exude humour and warmth in their messy dilemmas.

The themes of growing up, changing friendships, learning to know yourself and recognising parents as people is explored with a fervent belief that even though some dilemmas are irresolvable it doesn’t make them any less important to try and solve.

The unravelling lives of the characters on the page are counter balanced obviously, but pertinently, with those of the ‘fixed’ lives onscreen.

You Wish is funny, insightful, a little bit corny and ultimately bittersweet as it draws you in and has you rooting for characters and endings you’ll never know the outcome of.

In today’s digital world where Deep Fake videos can be accessed anywhere and false accounts are rife; it’s reassuring to know that it only takes an enjoyable, good old fashioned novel to remind us that online actions have offline consequences and that playing with peoples lives is only done neatly on a computer.