Three Wishes – Book Review

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Happy Easter everyone! As we all crack open the Easter eggs and spend time thinking about our history, let’s make the most of the tradition and rest up, ready for a busy summer ahead. I am not especially religious but Easter represents new life and symbolises how everything starts to become green again, during the Spring.

What better time to read some books? I love nothing more than putting my feet up in a quiet room, flicking through the pages of a good quality novel. For those of you who are new to my blog, you may not realise that I read mainly contemporary dramas and YA fiction, as well as a sprinkling of biographies.

Three Wishes

Although I am a massive fan of Liane Moriarty, I am never surprised when an author writes a book that doesn’t quite meet up to their usual standards. ‘Three Wishes’ is definitely not a book that lowers expectations. With Liane, I am yet to come across any that are sub-standard. For a previous review of one of her masterpieces, check out Bewitching Books which also includes a classic by my other favourite writer, Joanne Harris.

Review

Three wishes is all about three triplets who are in their thirties, living in Australia, going through the usual challenges of modern living. Their parents split up when they were young, but are still a big part of their lives. Two sisters, Lyn and Cat, are identical, while Gemma isn’t. What I love about Liane’s books is that they are grounded in normality, exploring family life in forensic detail.

Liane usually writes in the ‘close third person’ which means that each chapter focuses on a particular character and examines their thoughts, but remains written from a third person angle. We follow each sister as they deal with issues relating to mental health, motherhood, dating and marital upheaval.

Cat , for instance, is keen to have a baby with her husband, Dan. Her career is soaring and she envies Lyn, who balances having a toddler and teenage step daughter effortlessly. Lyn, meanwhile, is having anxiety issues related to car parks. Both sisters have used their identical features to their advantage in the past. They recall a time when one pretended to be the other on a date, for example.

Gemma is used to dating and being happy in short term relationships, which she is always ready to terminate. Being engaged to a guy who suddenly died in an accident, everyone feels sorry for her, but she harbours some resentment for her apparently romantic ex.

A celebration at a suave restaurant for their 34th birthdays turns into a battleground when the sisters finally let loose some revelations that upset the rest of the family. Some things just have to be said, but these women bottle stuff up and let it all out in one explosive evening.

Summary

I love this wonderfully told story, which is no thriller but is definitely compelling, with moments of humour along the way. Liane is very good at making sharp observations about modern life and her playfulness is really amusing. If you have never read a Moriarty book before (Why ever not?) then why not start with this one?

Check out the book on Amazon, here:

https://amzn.to/3KS1WG8

Thank you for taking the time to read my little review of this brilliant book. Please drop a comment about your thoughts or questions related to this. If you enjoyed my article, please consider following my blog for future similar content.

A Satisfying Short Book

Those eyes drew me in.

One book that I finished a while ago, which really sticks in my memory, is about a Japanese guy who was visited by a charming cat. I know what you are thinking – ‘What?!’

This sweet little book attracted me as it sat on a Waterstones book shelf and I don’t know why, but for some reason the picture of the feline on the front got me intrigued enough to buy it. Being a Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller also made it very tempting indeed.

The Guest Cat

A writer who had rented a room in a wealthy Japanese family’s garden apartment, pieced together a series of events in the lives of him and his wife where they both came into contact with a beautiful and very friendly cat.

Originally written as a series of essays, Takashi Hiraide fused them together into a small novella consisting of short chapters. The narrative is wonderfully written in a unique style that I have never witnessed before.

Over time, the guest cat became a lucky emblem for them. Chibi, the cat, was a regular visitor, consuming the food they left for him and entertaining them warmly. While this is a very sweet book, do not expect a thrilling mystery or complex drama. There is something soothing about the normality of it all.

Chibi somehow inspired both the man and his wife and became a massive part of their lives. A sad turn of events later put that relationship into question.

This is the first time I have read a book based in Japan and written in translation. It was brilliantly framed and totally absorbing. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite so exquisitely unique.

Thank you for taking the time to read my brief book review. Here is another recent review of Exciting Times. Please consider following my blog for similar content about books and the environment.

Exciting Times – Book Thoughts

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer who I had never heard of before, probably because the book I just finished reading was her very first novel. This award winning publication about a woman teaching English in Hong Kong was a very readable book but the thing that attracted me to it originally was its cover. Simple but colourful.

Hong Kong makes for a brilliant backdrop.

It turns out she wrote this book whilst living in Hong Kong herself so clearly she felt very inspired whilst there. The story followed Ava who had moved to experience a different culture and have some breathing space away from her expectant family. Working as a teacher, she struggled to afford much and had a flat share before befriending a British banker (Julian) who eventually invited her to stay at his.

The book is readable but there are moments when the author analyses grammar and these can detract from the storytelling a bit. As a teacher, I enjoyed this but I can see how it may get a little irritating. In a way it served the purpose of discussing what she was teaching and how her students got to grips with the past progressive tense and other such linguistic concepts. All I can say is, like it or not, the rest of the story is interesting and unique.

Without giving too much away, Ava became ‘friends with benefits’ with her new landlord friend and explored a different passion with a local character during a period when her buddy was away for business. Julian seemed quite a distant person and was not rattled too much publicly by Ava’s fascination with a confident woman (Edith). With an LGBT angle to this story, the author had a masterful way of outlining challenges that can come from exploring relationships.

Thoughts

So, in a nutshell, this book is a clever read set in Hong Kong, with a bit of intellectual natter thrown in. If you strip it right back, it is about self-discovery, a need to impress and flying away from the family nest. Naoise was recognised for her debut and aligned with Sally Rooney. I am pleased with the book but I did pick it up and put it down a lot over the past two years. Although it is compelling, it was not a story that grabbed me in the same way as The Girl in the Blue Coat which I reviewed last.

Thanks for reading my review of this colourful book. If you enjoyed this, perhaps consider following my little blog for similar future content.