Sunday, August 8, 2010

Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber

Anne Marie Roche is a widow and lives alone in an apartment over a book shop she owns.  Her life has certainly not turned out the way she had expected it to.  On Valentine's day, she and several other widows get together and decide to make a list of twenty wishes...not really a bucket list per se, but just things they always wanted to do but just hadn't gotten around to yet.  Anne Marie's list starts with "Find one good thing about life", then she adds "learn to knit", etc.  When she volunteers at a local school to be a "lunch buddy", she crosses paths with eight-year-old Ellen.  As Anne Marie becomes more and more involved in Ellen's life (due to a life threatening illness concerning Ellen's grandmother, her primary caretaker) she finds that this isn't the casual relationship she thought it was going to be going in.  In the meantime, we see how the twenty wishes lists of some of the other women play out in their lives.

This is the first Debbie Macomber book I've read, though she checks out very well at our library;  after all, she has 60 million books in print and is a New York Times best selling author, as well as a leading voice in women's fiction.  Now this quote comes directly from her website, but I find it really tells you all you need to know about the style of her books:  "Debbie is best known for her ability to create compelling characters and bring their stories to life in her books. Drawing on her own experiences and those of her family and friends, she demonstrates an almost uncanny ability to see into the souls of women and to express their emotions, values and concerns. In every book her sense of humor enlivens her writing."

I must say I found the book very heartwarming and funny.  I think I laughed out loud several times in just the early pages, so I was pretty well drawn into the story and characters from the beginning.  Macomber writes a whole series of these Blossom Street books and based on my reading of this one I would definitely pick up another volume from the series, if not another one of her other books in general.

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