Three Wishes: A Novel

Three Wishes: A Novel

by Liane Moriarty

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Overview

Three Wishes: A Novel by Liane Moriarty

A New York Times bestseller, Three Wishes is the funny, heartwarming and completely charming first novel from Liane Moriarty, also the author of #1 New York Times bestsellers The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060586133
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/24/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 18,788
Product dimensions: 7.96(w) x 8.02(h) x 1.02(d)

About the Author

Liane Moriarty is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies, The Husband's Secret, and What Alice Forgot, as well as The Hypnotist's Love StoryThree WishesThe Last Anniversary, and the Nicola Berry series for children. Liane lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children. www.lianemoriarty.com.au

Read an Excerpt

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'striplets?

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Three Wishes 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 133 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Ash5 More than 1 year ago
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
beh88 More than 1 year ago
This is my third book of hers, all equally awesome! Two more wating on my nightstand....they're that good!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
Lois515 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy her books and was able to totally relate to the characters being an identical twin... Liane was so accurate with twin details, i.e. when they "steal" the others memories as their own... That happens all the time! Interesting and unpredictable and very enjoyable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quick read, very entertaining
SGMomma More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every word and page of this book.  Without revealing too much of the story, the beginning had my mind moving in one direction.  I could not put this down until I read the entire story.   You don't have to be a multiple to relate to the relationship between the sisters, the parents and spouses.  I believe everyone can find a little piece of the self in this story.  Satisfying story and especially satisfying ending.  I am a true fan of this author after this delightful read!  I am going to buy as many of her books as I can find.
Lovemydog7 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story of triplet sisters. It is told in a unique way. I was caught up in their lives and relationship in the first chapter. The sister' relationship with their mother is also examined. Those who enjoy stories about the complex relationships within families will enjoy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed these triplets! Read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because it was on sale and sitting in the middle of the bookstore. It makes you laugh (OUT LOUD!), cry, sad, happy--all of the above. Great GREAT book. I would recommend it to anyone with sisters or best friends, or anyone who wants a great read!!
Allyson_A 18 days ago
Very interesting read! It is told from the viewpoint of three sisters, who are triplets, and bystanders who observe them through life. Each sister has their own issue to contend with, and grow from. Through the distinct personalities, it's easy to form opinions about each sister, but as the book goes along, and there are glimpses into the past. A past filled with secrets for each, some overlapping, that give rise to how the sisters became who they are. I was mostly intrigued by Gemma's story and why she withheld her situation from her sisters.
Anonymous 26 days ago
One of her funniest books, interesting twists and a good story line!
MamaHendo 3 months ago
Liane Moriarty has written another fantastic read with "Three Wishes". The Kettle triplets are about to turn 34 and their birthday dinner turns into something of a legend. Their family dynamic has always been a complicated one starting from their conception! As similar as Cat, Lyn & Gemma are in appearance their lives couldn't be more different. Lyn is a successful business owner, married to Michael - a man who was already married when they met. Together they have a one year old daughter and Michael's teenage daughter, Kara, lives with them. Cat works in advertising at a chocolate company and would give anything to start a family with her husband, Dan. Gemma, known as the drifter in the family, is still trying to figure out her life after a tragedy derails her plans for the future. She has no "real" career to speak of and fills her time as a house-sitter. Flashes of their lives as young girls dealing with their parents divorce at age six, then again as teenagers helping each other through first heartbreaks gives the reader a glimpses at the Kettle girls inseparable bond. If you are looking for a read with a feel-good ending, pick up a copy of "Three Wishes".
Anonymous 3 months ago
Couldnt put it down!!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Such a fun read!!
Beverly_D 6 months ago
I read Big Little Lies by this author only a few months ago, and the similarities are striking. First, starting with a riveting scene - this time, in a restaurant, which ends with a small eating implement poking out of a pregnant woman's belly. And then a lot of backstory, and time jumps, and various unidentified narrators chiming in, in addition to the three main characters: Cat, Gemma, and Lyn. In almost the last scene in the book, we find out WHY one triplet flung a fondue fork at her sister. I liked it, but I also found the style a little irritating on this go-round, especially the time jumps. The author is probably right to do it this way - I think the story would've been less compelling told in linear fashion, but I got reader's whiplash trying to figure out when we were. It's a fun, humorous read; there's also some sad parts, and some mention of (subtle) domestic violence, which was also touched on in Big Little Lies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was such a great read. I felt like I wanted to be friends with the characters. I loved getting an insight into each of their lives, and yearn to know more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm rereading all her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her other books have been better
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I do love her novels. I have read all but two of them at this point. Each one is special in its own way. I am not big on reading romance novels but her books go way above and beyond romance. This one in particular is more about family. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of hers