Friday, 29 September 2017

Book Review: Three Wishes

Over the last few months I’ve been enjoying making my way through my ‘To Be Read’ list and many of the books by the fantastic Liane Moriarty have made their way onto the list purely because I always enjoy her writing style. Said writing style often involves a range of characters and Three Wishes is certainly no exception to that rule. Centred around the tale of three thirty-three year old sisters, they are in fact triplets who often attract a lot of attention whenever they meet up in public due to their confidence and near constant bickering. In all honesty, on the surface they seem to be a lot younger than they are, although they are quite clearly individuals with their own lives and various problems. Lyn seems to have it all; the perfect family life and the perfect self employed empire, whereas Cat is having a difficult time after discovering that her husband’s eyes have been wandering elsewhere and Gemma seems to be at a crossroads, on the one hand she is a free spirit, enjoying house sitting as a career but struggling to take any relationship past the six month mark. At the start of the novel we see the triplets celebrating their birthday, one of them is heavily pregnant, another is enjoying the alcohol a little too much and the last one is feeling completely and utterly incensed after hearing some awful news.

This is a novel that is extremely enjoyable to read; the characters outside of the triplets, their parents and partners add a lot of fun into the mix, particularly when they all get together at various family gatherings. I like the dynamic that appeared between all of the characters, there are a lot of themes running through the novel too, including infidelity, infertility, friendship, sibling rivalry and divorce amongst many others. Considering there are a lot of what many would believe to be adult themes, this book is actually fairly easy to read as it flows very naturally. Each triplet has their own stories and personality which makes it easy to like and/or dislike them. The least favourite for me was Lyn as all of her troubles were fairly insignificant compared to those of Cat and Gemma; yes her stepdaughter was a nightmare at times but ultimately that could be be blamed on the fact that she met her husband when he was married to mother, as well as general teenage angst. It often seemed as though she almost enjoyed being the only settled sister and therefore had an air of boastfulness at times. That being said, Lyn definitely plays the role of peacemaker between the three sisters.

Whereas there were many points that it was easy to sympathise with Gemma; the non-identical sister, the one who can’t manage to hold down a job or a relationship due to her secret. Her dead fiancé used to beat her, yet she has never told a soul, not even her sister who know her better than anyone. It’s interesting for someone who tells her family everything, to have such a big secret held so close to the chest. She means well, never wanting to upset either of her sisters and makes sacrifices for them, but ultimately one of her sacrifices wasn’t her most well thought out and makes her relationship with her family very strained. Cat has always been the confident, but after a series of truly nasty events is more or less on the verge of a mental breakdown after her marriage ends and some other issues arise amongst her and her triplet sisters. As a reader the impression is given that being identical to Lyn in looks has made her somewhat expectant of having the same achievements in life. Seeing her sisters each conceive was incredibly difficult for her after having some trouble herself and so looking at her nieces and nephew wasn’t easy for her, but she braved it all the same. Cat is definitely the sister who was dealt the most rough deal of the three siblings and there were so many times you wished that her luck would change.

Overall, this book was slightly different to the other novels that I’ve read by Moriarty. For one, this novel ends fairly loosely; none of the ends are really tied up and so the open ended finale is somewhat unexpected as well as unwanted. I was left with a want to know if Cat’s life improved, if she got the happy ending that her two sisters managed to have and some kind of closure in her personal life, not only in her professional life. The narrative structure was great, starting with an event before showing the reader the months leading up to that event was a fantastic way of providing a bit of insight into the triplets lives, as well as switching the narrative voice between each of the triplets in turn. The one thing that struck me as the novel ending was that the triplets were not as close as they appeared to be at the start of the book. Yes, they see each other regularly but they often bicker and don’t tell each other everything which was the expectation at some points before some secrets came out. I recommend this book if you want to read something that is fairly light but still has some drama; I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would, particularly once I had started to know which character was which after the first few chapters (triplets make for fairly confusing reading). There are a lot of ups and downs throughout the story and a lot of the time you feel like you are a part of the novel, which is always a sign of a good book.

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