Book Review: Three Good Things

January 29, 2013 book review, divorce, family, new babies., simon and shuster, sisters, women's fiction 3

Written by: Wendy Francis

Published by: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks January 2013

Length: 256 Pages

Source: E Galley from Edelweiss via Publisher

Ellen McClarety is recently divorced and is throwing herself into her new bakery, The Singular Kringle, dedicated to producing the best Danish Kringle.  Ellen enjoys the daily routine of creating the dough, folding, building layers, choosing the fillings, and baking them to perfection.  Ellen brews the coffees and creates a daily sign board announcing Drips & Tips, announcing the available brews and a grammar tip.  While happy to be rid of her good for nothing husband, something lingers, a passion, a sad remembrance of things not had.  Her younger sister Lanie is a successful lawyer, married with a baby and burning the candle at both ends.  She is often unsure of her role as mother, wife and lawyer, and she is uncomfortable with all the hours her husband is working.  He is an architect.  Both Ellen and Lanie live in Madison, Wisconsin and enjoy the Midwestern values and lives they have chosen.  Having lost their mother when very young, both women cling to each other for support and wisdom.  One thing their mother taught them..each day look for three good things….knowing good and bad will surely come but there are always positives.

The relationship between these sisters is so beautiful.  I have a sister I’m very close to emotionally, but not geographically so I think I understand that relationship.  Certainly these two sisters would do just about anything for the other, and it shows.  Their unwavering support is very endearing.  Ellen’s attachment or unrequited love so to speak for her ex husband had moments that drove me crazy.  He contacts her out of the blue, he’s now living on an island, and he would like to see her.  She’s surprised when he just shows up at her bakery one day, but she’s filled with questions and doubts and she is very drawn to him physically.  She still has doubts.  When she begins seeing one of her regular customers she is learning to work her way through second time around relationships.  Henry is a widower, and he’s still not really over his loss.  Ellen is patient…to a point.

Lanie is the younger sister who wants it all and expect to get it!  I appreciated how she felt with a small child, busy career, husband equally involved in his work, and her feeling a bit resentful that he gets up less in the night, seems to get more sleep, and in he feels less guilt.  It’s true, we mothers feel guilty over the smallest things that we may not be giving our children.  When Lanie suspects husband Rob of having an affair, she is jealous of every hour he works late with the beautiful young associate, Samantha.  Lanie imagines the most awful scenarios, and it is beginning to tear her apart when she then makes a pleasant discovery.  It begins with a laughable wardrobe malfunction Samantha has at a work event, and then Lanie spies a small indiscretion…wow didn’t see that one coming, and so well written! 

The driving force in this book is love, and well kringle!  So much talk of dough and butter and fillings I wanted my own.  Luckily dear readers there is a recipe at the end!!  The love their mother game to Ellen and Lanie is always present, ever with them, guiding them and helping them along the way.  The love of sisters and family keeps them strong.  Each sister also wanting the love and understanding of another person in their life.

I really enjoyed this book, it was a nice departure from many of the books I’d been reading.  I gave this a 3.75 out of 5 stars.  Looking for something positive and yet not a cookie cutter feel good storyline?? This could fit your needs.  An enjoyable book, with characters that are very vulnerable and yet willing to work their way through relationships and life.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know Wendy Francis on twitter, she is a fun person, and I look for more good books from her. I’ve been trying to make a mental note daily of my Three Good Things, it’s very enlightening.  Visit her author page from Simon & Shuster. 

3 Responses to “Book Review: Three Good Things”

  1. Zibilee

    I just got this one the other day, and am excited about reading it and discovering the magic inside for myself. I have only one sister, but she is a half-sister, and we haven’t grown up together, so I doubt that that part of the book would strike me as much as it did you, but I loved your review and thought that you did a great job with it!!

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