World Cup Wishes
On the face of it, World Cup Wishes doesn't exactly bode well. Football fiction tends to be either based around the hooligan element, or instead confirm closely to Nick Hornby's football memoir Fever Pitch - but despite its title, Eshkol Nevo's novel isn't really about football at all. Instead it is a haunting and beautiful novel of friendship, life and destiny.
In some ways the premise is so simple it's amazing no one has thought of it before. Four friends are sitting watching the World Cup final. As the game unfolds, they find themselves wondering where they'll be when the World Cup comes round again in four years. They then decide to write down their wishes and hide them , then see how many they have achieved. The novel then traces their lives through to that next World Cup Final.
Moving, compelling and full of superb characters, World Cup Wishes is a poignant and thoroughly satisfying novel of the people we call friends, and the dreams we have for ourselves and others.