Three Wishes

( 68 )

Overview

Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle ...

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Overview

Lyn, Cat, and Gemma Kettle, beautiful thirty-three-year-old triplets, seem to attract attention everywhere they go. Together, laughter, drama, and mayhem seem to follow them. But apart, each is dealing with her own share of ups and downs. Lyn has organized her life into one big checklist, Cat has just learned a startling secret about her marriage, and Gemma, who bolts every time a relationship hits the six-month mark, holds out hope for lasting love. In this wise, witty, and hilarious novel, we follow the Kettle sisters through their tumultuous thirty-third year as they deal with sibling rivalry and secrets, revelations and relationships, unfaithful husbands and unthinkable decisions, and the fabulous, frustrating life of forever being part of a trio.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three chick-lit heroines are better than one in Moriarty's witty debut starring Sydney-based triplets Cat, Gemma and Lyn Kettle. Borrowing a convention from mystery novels, Moriarty opens with a prologue whose events must be explained through subsequent chapters: in this case, what led one sis to imbed a fondue fork in another sis's pregnant belly at their 34th birthday celebration dinner? Moriarty gleefully describes the triplets' turbulent previous year, which forces them to abandon the roles they've played since childhood. Sarcastic and abrasive marketing executive Cat must grapple with her husband Dan's affair, a miscarriage and a drinking problem, while flighty Gemma, a full-time house sitter, probes her fears of commitment when she meets charming locksmith Charlie. Lyn, a successful entrepreneur, wife and mother, has perfected the art of time management ("Sex with husband. Check"), but she's quietly seized by bouts of panic. Despite such unoriginal problems, Moriarty's novel is a winning combination of smart-alecky fun and feel-good mush (mostly the former). Her writing is smart and playful ("Death was the hot bath you promised yourself while you endured small talk and uncomfortable shoes"), her characters are quirky and lovable and her clever plot turns-like the rekindled love between the triplets' divorced parents-are fun. Convenient coincidences and a general predictability don't distract too much from the sassy pleasures. Agent, Faye Bender. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Meet the Kettle sisters: 33-year-old triplets. Gemma, Cat, and Lynne had the childhood from hell, thanks to their battling parents, and they still haven't decided what they want to be when they grow up-if they grow up. They haven't forgiven Mum and Dad and they can't forget, for example, their sixth birthday party, when their father lit a firecracker and blew his finger off (it was preserved in Formaldehyde as a gruesome memento of the occasion). How ironic: it was his ring finger-an apt symbol of an explosive marriage. Some years later, after their parents' divorce, the sisters leave home to confront hard truths about life and love. Family secrets and garden-variety troubles are trotted out in no particular order: Mum's miscarriage. Frail but feisty granny. Unfaithful husbands and useless boyfriends. Happy ending? Oh, why not. Sneering tone and choppy style mar this first novel, set in Sydney, from Australian author Moriarty. Agent: Faye Bender/Anderson Grinberg Literary Management
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060586133
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/24/2014
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 40,847
  • Product dimensions: 7.96 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Liane Moriarty is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of The Husband's Secret and What Alice Forgot, as well as The Hypnotist's Love Story, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, and the Nicola Berry series for children. Liane lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two small, noisy children.

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Read an Excerpt

Three Wishes


By Moriarty, Liane

HarperCollins Publishers

ISBN: 0060586125

Chapter One

You could argue that it started thirty-four years ago when twenty-year-old Frank Kettle, a tall, fair, hyperactive ex-altar boy, fell madly in lust with Maxine Leonard, a long-legged languid redhead just a few days short of her nineteenth birthday.

He was pumping with fresh testosterone. She knew better but did it anyway. In the backseat of Frank's dad's Holden. Twice. The first time involved a lot of head-bumping and grunting and breathless shifts of position, while Johnny O'Keefe bellowed at them from the car radio. The second time was slower and gentler and rather nice. Elvis soothingly suggested they love him tender. In each case, however, the terrible result was the same. One of Frank's exuberant little sperm cells slammed head-on with one of Maxine's rather less thrilled eggs, interrupting what should have been an uneventful journey to nonexistence.

Over the following days, while Maxine was chastely dating more suitable boys and Frank was pursuing a curvy brunette, two freshly fertilized eggs were busily bumping their way along Maxine's fallopian tubes toward the haven of her horrified young uterus.

At the exact moment Maxine allowed the very suitable Charlie Edwards to hold back her long red hair while she puffed out her cheeks and blew out nineteen candles, one egg fizzed with so much friction it split right in two. The other single egg burrowed its way comfortably in between the two new identical eggs.

Guests at Maxine's birthday party thought they'd never seen her look so beautiful -- slender, glowing, almost incandescent! Who could have guessed she'd been impregnated with some Catholic boy's triplets?

Frank and Maxine were married, of course. In their wedding photos, they both have the blank-eyed, sedated look of recent trauma victims.

Seven months later, their triplet daughters came kicking and howling into the world. Maxine, who had never even held a baby before, was presented with three; it was the most despair-filled moment of her young life.

Well, that would be Gemma's preference for how it started. Cat would argue that if she was going to begin with their conception, then why not go back through their entire family tree? Why not go back to the apes? Why not start with the Big Bang? I guess I did really, Gemma would chortle, Mum and Dad's big bang. Oh funn-y, Cat would say. Let's look at it logically, Lyn would interrupt. Quite clearly, it started the night of the spaghetti.

And Lyn, quite naturally, would be right.


It was a Wednesday night six weeks before Christmas. A nothing sort of night. An unassuming midweek night that should have vanished from their memories by Friday. "What did we do Wednesday?" "I don't know. Watch TV?"

That's what they were doing. They were eating spaghetti and drinking red wine in front of the television. Cat was sitting crosslegged on the floor, with her back up against the sofa, her plate on her lap. Her husband, Dan, was sitting on the edge of the sofa, hunched over his dinner on the coffee table. It was the way they always ate dinner.

Dan had cooked the spaghetti, so it was hearty and bland. Cat was the more accomplished cook. Dan's approach to cooking was somehow too functional. He stirred his ingredients like concrete mix, one arm wrapped around the bowl, the other stirring the gluggy mix so vigorously you could see his biceps working. "So what? Gets the job done."

That Wednesday night Cat was feeling no specific emotion; not especially happy, not especially sad. It was strange afterward, remembering how she sat there, shoveling Dan's pasta into her mouth, so foolishly trusting of her life. She wanted to yell back at herself through time, Concentrate!

They were watching a show called Med School. It was a soap about a group of very beautiful young medical students with shiny white teeth and complex love lives. Each episode featured a lot of blood and sex and anguish.

Cat and Dan shared a mild addiction to Med School. Whenever the plot took a new twist, they responded with loud enthusiasm, yelling at the television like children watching a pantomime: "Bastard!" "Dump him!" "It's the wrong medication!"

This week Ellie (blond, cutesy, cropped T-shirt) was in a state. She didn't know whether to tell her boyfriend, Pete (dark, brooding, abnormal abs), about her drunken infidelity with a guest-starring troublemaker.

"Tell him, Ellie!" said Cat to the television. "Pete will forgive you. He'll understand!"

The ad break came on, and a manic man in a yellow jacket bounced around a department store pointing an incredulous finger at the Christmas specials.

"I booked that health and beauty thing today," said Cat, using Dan's knee as a lever to help her reach over him for the pepper. "The woman had one of those gooey, spiritual voices. I felt like I was getting a massage just making a booking."

For Christmas, she was giving her sisters (and herself) a weekend away at a health retreat in the Blue Mountains. The three of them would share an "exquisite experience" of "indulgent pampering." They would be wrapped in seaweed, dunked in mud, and slathered in vitamin-enriched creams. It would be extremely amusing.

She was pleased with herself for thinking of it. "What a clever idea!" everyone would say on Christmas Day. Lyn definitely needed the stress relief. Gemma didn't need it but she'd be right into pretending that she did. Cat herself wasn't especially stressed either, but perhaps she was, because she wasn't pregnant and she'd been off the Pill now for nearly a year. "Don't get stressed about it," everybody said wisely, as if they were the first to pass on that hot little tip. Apparently, the moment your ovaries noticed you were worried about becoming pregnant, they refused to cooperate. Oh well, if you're going to get all huffy about it, we'll just close down ...

Continues...

Excerpted from Three Wishes by Moriarty, Liane Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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First Chapter

Three Wishes

Chapter One

You could argue that it started thirty-four years ago when twenty-year-old Frank Kettle, a tall, fair, hyperactive ex-altar boy, fell madly in lust with Maxine Leonard, a long-legged languid redhead just a few days short of her nineteenth birthday.

He was pumping with fresh testosterone. She knew better but did it anyway. In the backseat of Frank's dad's Holden. Twice. The first time involved a lot of head-bumping and grunting and breathless shifts of position, while Johnny O'Keefe bellowed at them from the car radio. The second time was slower and gentler and rather nice. Elvis soothingly suggested they love him tender. In each case, however, the terrible result was the same. One of Frank's exuberant little sperm cells slammed head-on with one of Maxine's rather less thrilled eggs, interrupting what should have been an uneventful journey to nonexistence.

Over the following days, while Maxine was chastely dating more suitable boys and Frank was pursuing a curvy brunette, two freshly fertilized eggs were busily bumping their way along Maxine's fallopian tubes toward the haven of her horrified young uterus.

At the exact moment Maxine allowed the very suitable Charlie Edwards to hold back her long red hair while she puffed out her cheeks and blew out nineteen candles, one egg fizzed with so much friction it split right in two. The other single egg burrowed its way comfortably in between the two new identical eggs.

Guests at Maxine's birthday party thought they'd never seen her look so beautiful -- slender, glowing, almost incandescent! Who could have guessed she'd been impregnated with some Catholic boy's triplets?

Frank and Maxine were married, of course. In their wedding photos, they both have the blank-eyed, sedated look of recent trauma victims.

Seven months later, their triplet daughters came kicking and howling into the world. Maxine, who had never even held a baby before, was presented with three; it was the most despair-filled moment of her young life.

Well, that would be Gemma's preference for how it started. Cat would argue that if she was going to begin with their conception, then why not go back through their entire family tree? Why not go back to the apes? Why not start with the Big Bang? I guess I did really, Gemma would chortle, Mum and Dad's big bang. Oh funn-y, Cat would say. Let's look at it logically, Lyn would interrupt. Quite clearly, it started the night of the spaghetti.

And Lyn, quite naturally, would be right.


It was a Wednesday night six weeks before Christmas. A nothing sort of night. An unassuming midweek night that should have vanished from their memories by Friday. "What did we do Wednesday?" "I don't know. Watch TV?"

That's what they were doing. They were eating spaghetti and drinking red wine in front of the television. Cat was sitting crosslegged on the floor, with her back up against the sofa, her plate on her lap. Her husband, Dan, was sitting on the edge of the sofa, hunched over his dinner on the coffee table. It was the way they always ate dinner.

Dan had cooked the spaghetti, so it was hearty and bland. Cat was the more accomplished cook. Dan's approach to cooking was somehow too functional. He stirred his ingredients like concrete mix, one arm wrapped around the bowl, the other stirring the gluggy mix so vigorously you could see his biceps working. "So what? Gets the job done."

That Wednesday night Cat was feeling no specific emotion; not especially happy, not especially sad. It was strange afterward, remembering how she sat there, shoveling Dan's pasta into her mouth, so foolishly trusting of her life. She wanted to yell back at herself through time, Concentrate!

They were watching a show called Med School. It was a soap about a group of very beautiful young medical students with shiny white teeth and complex love lives. Each episode featured a lot of blood and sex and anguish.

Cat and Dan shared a mild addiction to Med School. Whenever the plot took a new twist, they responded with loud enthusiasm, yelling at the television like children watching a pantomime: "Bastard!" "Dump him!" "It's the wrong medication!"

This week Ellie (blond, cutesy, cropped T-shirt) was in a state. She didn't know whether to tell her boyfriend, Pete (dark, brooding, abnormal abs), about her drunken infidelity with a guest-starring troublemaker.

"Tell him, Ellie!" said Cat to the television. "Pete will forgive you. He'll understand!"

The ad break came on, and a manic man in a yellow jacket bounced around a department store pointing an incredulous finger at the Christmas specials.

"I booked that health and beauty thing today," said Cat, using Dan's knee as a lever to help her reach over him for the pepper. "The woman had one of those gooey, spiritual voices. I felt like I was getting a massage just making a booking."

For Christmas, she was giving her sisters (and herself) a weekend away at a health retreat in the Blue Mountains. The three of them would share an "exquisite experience" of "indulgent pampering." They would be wrapped in seaweed, dunked in mud, and slathered in vitamin-enriched creams. It would be extremely amusing.

She was pleased with herself for thinking of it. "What a clever idea!" everyone would say on Christmas Day. Lyn definitely needed the stress relief. Gemma didn't need it but she'd be right into pretending that she did. Cat herself wasn't especially stressed either, but perhaps she was, because she wasn't pregnant and she'd been off the Pill now for nearly a year. "Don't get stressed about it," everybody said wisely, as if they were the first to pass on that hot little tip. Apparently, the moment your ovaries noticed you were worried about becoming pregnant, they refused to cooperate. Oh well, if you're going to get all huffy about it, we'll just close down ...

Three Wishes. Copyright © by Liane Moriarty. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

About the book

Lyn, Cat, and Gemma are triplets about to turn the dreaded 33 and in one of the most memorable opening scenes in contemporary fiction -- the ladies' 33rd birthday party -- we witness the culmination of a horrible year for them all. One is pregnant, one is in love with the wrong man, and one happens to be in the midst of a life crisis -- not to mention the fact that their crazy parents who have been divorced for years seem to be getting back together.

This hilarious, charming, and completely heartwarming first novel is, at its heart, about the nature of siblings and their tendencies to fall into predetermined roles. Told over the course of one calendar year full of funny moments and heartbreaking disappointments, Three Wishes is an uplifting family comedy.

Discussion Questions

  1. The three Kettle sisters may share the same birthday, but that's about all they have in common. Which sister did you identify with the most, and why?

  2. While Three Wishes is a warm-hearted novel about triplets and their impending birthday, it is, at its heart, about the nature of siblings to fall into pre-determined roles in the family. In most cases, each member of a family plays some role in the working of the unit as a whole. For example, in stereotypical households, the mother is the caregiver and the father the provider. What is your role in your family?

About the author

Liane Moriarty grew up in Sydney and was one of those annoying little girls whose friends had to hide their books when she came to play. She grew up to be an advertising copywriter and has written everything from websites and cataloguesto television commercials and cereal box copy. Liane has a Bachelor of Business degree and her first novel, Three Wishes, was completed as part of a Masters Degree in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Australia. She is currently writing her second novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Three Wishes is a remarkable book. It finds a way to be both fun

    Three Wishes is a remarkable book. It finds a way to be both funny and heart touching at the same time. At times I found myself laughing out loud. Five Stars

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Love this author!

    Witty and heart wrenching at the same time. Laughed out loud and shed bitter tears all in one read. Fantastic book. I love the writing style. Its so detailed you feel as if you are living in the moment without the descriptives becoming long winded mood breakers.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2013

    This is my third book of hers, all equally awesome! Two more wat

    This is my third book of hers, all equally awesome!
    Two more wating on my nightstand....they're that good!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2005

    Crack-up Kettles!

    The Kettle family is quite a trip. There¿s Nana Kettle, mother of Frank Kettle, ex-husband of Maxine (Max) Kettle, mother of the wackiest triplets on the planet, Lynnette (Lyn), Catriona (Cat), and Gemma Kettle. The girls are long-legged and beautiful, but that¿s where the similarity ends. Author Moriarty grew up in a family with six children, she being the eldest, so she probably has an excellent concept of what chaos in a family means. The scene is Sydney, Australia, and the story is about the triplets as they approach their thirty-fourth birthday. There are snippets of their lives from birth, including the divorce of their parents when they were six, the death of the fiancé of one of the girls; marriages, childbirth, miscarriage, unfaithful husbands, etc. There are happy events, too, but mostly these three girls and their family members try, like most of us, to survive one another. It¿s quite a hoot. However, there is one aspect of this story I found very disturbing. Since art imitates life, we all know of situations like the one portrayed in the book. All I can say is ¿Get out!¿ Ms. Moriarty not only used prose to tell her story, she included emails between these very modern sisters, which I thought was very clever. In addition, she included vignettes by people who had been ¿exposed¿ to the sisters over the course of their lives. These vignettes were presented in italicized text. I liked the feature as it gave the unusual view of the story¿s characters from people outside the story line. Carolyn Rowe Hill

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2014

    Ok read

    This book is told from many different perspectives. It is a story about a set of female triplets, clebrating their 34 birthday, reflecting on their past and contemplating their future. It is about 300 pages long. I had a really had a hard time getting into this book. I found the first few chapters hard to get into. This book is chick lit. There are many reviews which are plot spoilers, so I am not going to add my three cents worth. It was well edited, sometimes sad, sometimes funny and has one of the most disfunctional families, I have ever read about. Not a mystery, romance, adventure or paranormal story. It is chick lit, about a family with a lot of problems. For ages 18 and up.

    AD

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Loved it

    Quick read, very entertaining

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    Loved it

    I love the way it was written with the different perspectives. Very funny and I read it in one sitting. Great Book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2004

    Family - Fabulous and Frustrating

    Lyn, Cat and Gemma Kettle are approaching their 34th birthday together. These Aussie triplets may share a birthday, but they have their own very different personalities. Gemma floats through life and relationships. Lyn powers her way through her organized and efficient days. The fiercely emotional Cat does battle with co-workers, her husband, and her sisters. In the year surrounding this particular birthday, their lives are thrown upside down by various tragedies and joys and they struggle through as they always have ¿ together. This heart-warming and heart-wrenching story is an impressive first book for Moriarty. She captures all the best and worst of family relationships ¿ siblings, parents, spouses, and children ¿ while balancing the heavy parts with funny bits of mayhem and wicked humor. The point of view alternates between the sisters and the story bounces back and forth in time, but never gets confusing. Interspersed between the chapters are little vignettes about how the triplets have touched the lives of strangers throughout the years. Moriarty¿s characters are just quirky enough to really care about without being absurd. I thought the flashbacks to the past did a wonderful job of showing how the sisters evolved into their separate personalities. Three Wishes is a fun, fascinating look into three lives that are inextricably entwined, and an insightful look at family relationships in general.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    A quick read, very funny!

    I really enjoyed this story of three sisters. I couldn't put the book down, I had to know what happened to each sister. If you are looking for an entertaining read, this is the book for you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 11, 2014

    loved it

    Loved this book. These sisters are very different from one another yet similar in the way they treat each other. Good ending. I will be purchasing more books from this author for sure.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    Really Enjoyed this book

    This was a light, beach read-exactly what I was looking for. Funny and quick!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Great read!

    Couldn't put it down. Light easy read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2014

    So good

    Witty, real, morbid at times (just like life)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Enjoyable story

    Interesting story and style. Enjoyed the humor yet depth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2014

    Good book!

    Good book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    A must read

    This is a pleasant mix of humor, sadness and a whole lot of crazy. Very good book.

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Medium

    I am a huge Liane Moriarty fan!! The Husband's Secret hooked me and I read all her other books immediately after in the span of 2 weeks. This was a good book, however it was not my favorite. I enjoyed the characters and their story lines but it wasn't a very exciting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    This is a great beach/pool read. Very funny, yet poignant. Highl

    This is a great beach/pool read. Very funny, yet poignant. Highly recommend.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Very good read

    Easy reading and entertaining, a beach book.
    Only negative is the ebook had poorly edited italics. Author use of italics was meaningful but sometimes the italics extended too far into the next line or partially into the next word. Some may not even notice but I found it annoying. The is my only complaint....completely enjoyed this book otherwise

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Charming, if slightly confusing at first

    The multiple-viewpoint technique makes this book a bit difficult to follow at first, but you get used to the characters' voices and it stops being a problem.

    Overall, I found this book utterly enjoyable. I especially liked that the characters were so real. The author sugar-coats nothing and I found myself living, hating, and pitying each sister by turn.

    The thing I love most, I think, is the ending. It managed to give a sense of completeness without tying a pretty bow on everything. The characters do not get everything they ever wanted, which is refreshing, but we still get the sense that everything will be okay.

    I will be looking for more from this author, for sure.

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