Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Twenty Wishes

Twenty Wishes (Blossom Street)
Twenty Wishes - Debbie Macomber
360 pages
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Blurb:
What do you want most in the world?

Anne Marie Roche wants to find happiness again. At 38 her life's not what she'd expected--she s childless, a recent widow, alone. She owns a successful bookstore on Seattle's Blossom Street, but despite her accomplishments, there's a feeling of emptiness.

On Valentine's Day, Anne Marie and several other widows get together to celebrate...what? Hope, possibility, the future. They each begin a list of twenty wishes, things they always wanted to do but never did.

Anne Marie's list starts with: Find one good thing about life. It includes learning to knit, doing good for someone else, falling in love again. She begins to act on her wishes and when she volunteers at a local school, an eight-year-old girl named Ellen enters her life. It s a relationship that becomes far more involving than Anne Marie intended. It also becomes far more important than she ever imagined.

As Ellen helps Anne Marie complete her list of twenty wishes, they both learn that wishes can come true--but not necessarily in the way you expect.

As millions of women know, Debbie Macomber understands their lives and writes the stories they want to read.

My Thoughts:
This book was my second read of Debbie Macomber's, and I really was pleasantly surprised by how different the two novels were.  At times, I can get in a rut when reading the same author over and over again - and the plots, characters, and endings become predictable.  The two books I read by Macomber were incredibly different, even though they both would be classified as romance.  Sooner or Later was a romantic, action/mystery novel.  Twenty Wishes was both a fun romance and a study of women (or people in general) and how to move on after life does not turn out as you planned.  Macomber writes a sweet commentary on how even though life is full of unexpected events, happiness can be found even if it is not the way we expect.

I enjoyed reading this novel, and I finished mostly in one afternoon.  I decided to stay awake and read instead of sleep before working tonight.  It was a pleasant book, and I was not able to predict the plot throughout the end.  I laughed with the characters, and I enjoyed getting to know each personality.  This book was the first of the Blossom Series I had read, which is unusual for me.  I really hate reading books out of series, especially because (as with the Chesapeake Shores books by Sherryl Woods) I enjoy continuing my "relationship" with the characters in past novels.  However, I thought this book could have stood alone - and I enjoyed it in that aspect.  Despite sharing the same setting and occasionally seeing other characters from previous novels, the books are hardly connected.

The description of this novel implies that it will mainly be about Anne Marie and Ellen.  And though they are both significant characters, the story also centers around several other characters: mainly Barbie and Lillie Foster.  A mother/daughter team, Macomber uses the twenty wishes idea in their lives as a way to help them move past their husbands deaths.  I enjoyed the individual stories about all three women and Ellen, sweet eight-year-old that she is.

I gave this novel a 3/5 because I really enjoyed it, but I found myself wanting a little more in character development.  Though I got to know each character, I did not find myself connecting to any of them.  I enjoyed their stories and laughed at some of the situations, but I honestly did not feel the grief that Anne Marie was feeling or the embarrassment when Barbie tripped and fell on her face. Instead, I read the book more as an observer.  I found it to be a quick, enjoyable story that was generally sweet.  I read it in one afternoon, but I'll probably have to be reminded of the characters to remember specifics in a couple of months.  I recommend it for anyone looking for a light read that is well-written and not cheesy.  It provides good thoughts about life in general and has some great lessons within its pages.

On a little bit of a different note, I have to say that I will never think of this book without my dog coming into my mind.  The puppy that he is decided that my book would make a nice snack last night.  It's a good thing he's cute because then he would be getting more than a firm "NO!!"  I hope my mom wasn't looking to make a family heirloon of the book.... eek!  Thankfully, she loves her granddog so hopefully she'll forgive his puppy ways.

Who me?

Thankfully, Bennett's attention is now on my camera string instead of my book.... such a puppy

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