Over the holidays, I stuck to lighter reads, things I could easily pick up and put down again. I found Three Wishes by Liane Moriarty through my library’s e-book download, and decided to try it because Amazon keeps recommending her bestselling The Husband’s Secret to me. (And there’s the obvious intrigue of reading a book by an author who shares my name. There aren’t a lot of Leannes out there, no matter the spelling variations.)
If you’re a fan of Marian Keyes, I think you’ll like this book a lot. Moriarty’s style is quite similar. She’s Australian, not Irish, but like Keyes, she writes about conflicting family relationships, focused on sisters, with large dose of snappy, sometimes twisted humor. In Three Wishes, the Kettle triplets are turning thirty-three. As their birthday approaches, one finds out her husband is cheating on her; one starts having strange panic attacks; and one gets pregnant, but doesn’t tell the father of the baby. Meanwhile, their long-divorced parents have started to act almost civilly to each other. All the action comes to a head at the sisters’ birthday dinner, when unexpected revelations cause forks to fly and ambulances to be called.
I’ve been resisting The Husband’s Secret for awhile, just because something about the synopsis always seems to put me off, but I think I’ll try it now, because I enjoy authors with a clear sense of style and the ability to make uncomfortable things seem funny.
I also read Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews, because I was looking for a Christmas-themed novel.
It’s a sequel to Blue Christmas, which I read a few years ago, and I’ve also read the other books in the mini-series about Eloise (Weezie) Foley and her best friend, BeBe Loudermilk. I like Weezie and BeBe and their suitors, Daniel and Harry, but I did not enjoy this book. It felt like a slap-dash job by an author I usually admire for her meticulous plots and charming-yet-complex characters. For one thing, there were errors in my Kindle edition. There were several places where the names of the characters actually got mixed up (BeBe and Weezie alternate telling the story, and there were BeBe chapters where Weezie suddenly was “I”, and vice-versa). I don’t know whether that was just in the e-book edition, but hey, I paid $7.99 for the book, and I deserve an error-free copy. I’d expect that from a self-published author, perhaps, but not from a bestselling one with an agent and editor.
I could have overlooked that, however, if the story hadn’t been just plain boring and completely predictable. In the beginning of the book, Weezie’s about to get married and BeBe about to have a baby, and guess what? At the end of the book, Weezie gets married and BeBe has the baby. There are a few twists and turns, but all of them fizzle and die too quickly. There’s very little conflict or drama. The best part was the descriptions of Weezie’s antiquing and the wedding decorations- it’s obvious that Mary Kay Andrews really enjoys those things, and brought out her best writing there. I was disappointed that the rest of the book didn’t live up, especially when I’ve enjoyed her work so much in the past.
What books did you read over the holidays?
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- Friday Book Review: The Husband's Secret | Words From The Sowul - […] Moriarty’s Three Wishes on my library’s e-book download, it seemed worth a try, and I ended up enjoying it…