Three Wishes

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Three Wishes book cover

Liane Morarty 2004

Although they may look alike (two identical, one fraternal), the Kettle triplets have their differences. Entrepreneur Lyn is pragmatic and highly organized; Cat, with her emotional extremes, is a marketing executive; and flighty Gemma loves impermanence; she drifts from one house-sitting job to another and treats relationships the same way. Some are married, some are not, and some are in relationship flux.

What the thirty-year-old siblings have in common is this: they are a handful. Marriage, infidelity, emotional abuse, divorce and remarriage, children and lack thereof – the Kettle girls and their parents Maxine and Frank wade through all of it, with their trademark over-the-top behavior and a lot of love.

This is Liane Morarty’s first novel, and she’s already got her trademark writing style down: multiple points of view – including strangers, repeating scenes from more than one triplet’s viewpoint (very effectively), and most importantly, inclusion of one big hook that drives her readers to continue to the end.

Moriarty’s treatment of the Kettle women as triplets is intriguing; in addition to trading places occasionally and drawing attention from strangers, more than one of the sisters has the odd experience of not knowing whether a remembered event happened to her or to one of the other sisters. The author does this so effectively that the reader has a sense of lines of identity dissolving between the three siblings.

Other editions of Three Wishes are narrated by Caroline Lee; the Scribd version that I listed to is read by Heather Wilds. Each sentence is a declarative statement, and emphasis often seems misplaced, but I could move past this by playing the book at 1.2 X speed.

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