Be Careful What You Wish For
Goodreads ratings
3.77 / 5

"Be Careful What You Wish For" Summary

By Alexandra Potter

chick lit | 387 pages | Published in 2014

Bestselling author Jeffrey Archer's Be Careful What You Wish For opens with Harry Clifton and his wife Emma rushing to hospital to learn the fate of their son Sebastian, who has been involved in a fatal car accident. But who died, Sebastian or his best friend Bruno? When Ross Buchanan is forced to resign as chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, Emma Clifton wants to replace him. But Don Pedro Martinez intends to install his puppet, the egregious Major Alex Fisher, in order to destroy the Barrington family firm just as the company plans to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham.Back in London, Harry and Emma's adopted daughter wins a scholarship to the Slade Academy of Art where she falls in love with a fellow student, Clive Bingham, who asks her to marry him. Both families are delighted until Priscilla Bingham, Jessica's future mother-in-law, has a visit from an old friend, Lady Virginia Fenwick, who drops her particular brand of poison into the wedding chalice.Then, without warning, Cedric Hardcastle, a bluff Yorkshireman who no one has come across before, takes his place on the board of Barringtons. This causes an upheaval that none of them could have anticipated, and will change the lives of every member of the Clifton and Barrington families. Hardcastle's first decision is who to support to become the next chairman of the board: Emma Clifton or Major Alex Fisher? And with that decision, the story takes yet another twist that will keep you on the edge of your seat.Be Careful What You Wish For showcases the master storyteller's talent as never before – when the Clifton and Barrington families march forward into the sixties, in this epic tale of love, revenge, ambition and betrayal.


Estimated read time: 3 min read

One Sentence Summary

After making a wish, a woman finds herself living a different life and must figure out what she truly wants.

Table of Contents


"Be Careful What You Wish For" by Alexandra Potter is a captivating and heartwarming novel that explores the themes of love, fate, and the power of wishes. The story follows the life of a young woman named Alice, who discovers a magical journal that grants her the ability to make her wishes come true. As Alice navigates the ups and downs of her newfound power, she learns valuable lessons about love, self-discovery, and the true meaning of happiness.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview and Setting

The story takes place in present-day London, where we are introduced to Alice, a 30-year-old woman who is feeling disillusioned with her life. Alice is stuck in a dead-end job, her love life is non-existent, and she can't help but feel like something is missing. However, her life takes an unexpected turn when she stumbles upon a mysterious journal at a second-hand bookstore. This journal, as Alice soon discovers, has the power to make her wishes come true.

Main Events

1Alice discovers the magical journal
2Alice makes her first wish and experiences the consequences
3Alice's romantic wish goes awry, leading to unexpected outcomes
4Alice grapples with the ethical implications of her wishes
5Alice learns valuable life lessons through her wish-making journey

Main Characters

Alice Grey

A 30-year-old woman living in London, feeling stuck in her career and love life. Discovers a magical journal that grants her wishes, leading her on a transformative journey of self-discovery.


Alice's charming and supportive best friend who provides a listening ear and valuable advice throughout her wish-making journey.


A handsome and enigmatic stranger who becomes entangled in Alice's life as her wishes unfold.

Themes and Insights

"Be Careful What You Wish For" delves into several profound themes and insights, including the nature of fate, the power of choice, and the complexities of love and relationships. Through Alice's experiences, the novel explores the idea that true happiness comes from within and cannot be achieved through external wishes alone. It also delves into the concept of unintended consequences and the importance of self-reflection and personal growth.

Reader's Takeaway

Readers of "Be Careful What You Wish For" are likely to be enthralled by the enchanting storytelling and relatable characters. The novel offers a thought-provoking exploration of the human experience, reminding readers of the significance of self-discovery, resilience, and the pursuit of authentic happiness.


In conclusion, "Be Careful What You Wish For" is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that skillfully weaves together themes of love, fate, and the power of wishes. Through the compelling journey of its protagonist, Alice, the story delivers valuable insights and heartwarming moments that are sure to resonate with readers. Alexandra Potter's masterful storytelling and relatable characters make this novel a delightful and enriching read.

Be Careful What You Wish For FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'Be Careful What You Wish For'?

    The genre of 'Be Careful What You Wish For' is contemporary fiction or chick lit.

  2. Who is the author of 'Be Careful What You Wish For'?

    The author of 'Be Careful What You Wish For' is Alexandra Potter.

  3. What is the main theme of 'Be Careful What You Wish For'?

    The main theme of 'Be Careful What You Wish For' revolves around the idea of being careful about what one wishes for and the unexpected consequences of our desires.

  4. Is 'Be Careful What You Wish For' part of a series?

    No, 'Be Careful What You Wish For' is a standalone novel and not part of a series.

  5. What is the setting of 'Be Careful What You Wish For'?

    The story is primarily set in contemporary urban locations, with some scenes taking place in London and other cities.