Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Three Wishes, Liane Moriarty

Posted by lea at 5:20 PM

This is a homegrown novel about the Kettle triplets who live very different lives right here in Sydney. There's strong-willed Cat who discovers that her husband has been unfaithful, super-organised Lyn whose glossy magazine lifestyle comes at the expense of silent panic attacks, and flighty Gemma whose serial monogamy hides a deeper secret.

The book begins at a restaurant where the girls have gathered to celebrate their 34th birthdays, when an argument ensues – one throws a fondue fork which lands in her pregnant sister's stomach and promptly faints, breaking her jaw. The third sister calmly calls the ambulance. From this point on, we're taken back to the events that led to this incident.

Liane Moriarty's writing is smooth and unhurried, slowly unfolding memories and anecdotes that fill out the story and pace the plot steadily and incrementally. In between chapters are little snippets offering random third-party viewpoints about the girls, ensuring that the book is never too insular. I'm not sure that this literary device really works (at times it can be distracting from the main plot) but at least it's interesting and gives some food for thought as to how ordinary people can impact those around them without ever knowing it.

Three Wishes omits the fairy-tale element present in so much of modern chick-literature and I think is a better novel for it. A very enjoyable warm read.

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