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Three Wishes
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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.

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