Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Three Good Things By Wendy Francis

THREE GOOD THINGS: A Novel

By: Wendy Francis

Published: January 1, 2013

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Fiction



This book has all the pieces that I love in a story: sisters, a bakery, great quotes, and a bit of romance. Ellen raised her younger sister, Lanie, after their mom died. They are now adults and as close as two sisters can be. Ellen, recently divorced, has built a new life and is the owner of a Kringle bakery in Wisconsin. Lanie is a mom to toddler, Benjamin, as well as a busy lawyer, and married to Rob, a busy architect. Lanie longs to have it all yet feels like she is falling short in motherhood and her marriage. Ellen just begins to move beyond her past when suddenly her past shows up at her door. As both women struggle in their lives, they miss their mom and her love and guidance. They are reminded how she closed each day by remembering three good things. Will remembering three good things each day lead Ellen and Lanie to a second chance at happiness?

I had really high hopes for this book, but it fell a little short for me.  There wasn't much of a plot and the characters were a little too whiny for me. I found myself skimming a few chapters. It is a short book at just a bit over two hundred pages, but when I finally started to get excited about the story, it ended, leaving the reader wondering how life turns out for Ellen and Lanie.

Each chapter begins with a quote, either from a fictional kringle cookbook or something related to what is going on in the story. Quotes from baking to parenting and even architecture offer lessons that can be applied to daily life. I also loved the lesson from the title of the book. It is a reminder for all of us on how to live out each day.

"Her mother had always told them 
to count three good things at the end of every day. 
'You can always find three,' she would say, 
'and if you can't, you're not looking.'" Page 75

The characters were easy to identify with and I could relate to their Midwestern values. But, I found a few of their situations were too easily tidied up. This is definitely a light read and enjoyable. I was just expecting a bit more.
 
I have never seen or tasted a kringle, but after reading this book, I certainly want to try one. The book does include a recipe to make a Danish kringle and I may just have to try making one myself.

I read this for my own enjoyment after a recommendation from my cousin. Since there are discussion questions at the end of the book, this would also make for a good book club choice.

Wendy Francis - source
A Wisconsin native, Wendy Francis is a former senior editor in book publishing. THREE GOOD THINGS is her first novel. She is currently working on her second book. For more on Wendy, visit her blog at http://www.wendyefrancis.blogspot.com/. You can also find her on Twitter, HERE

To purchase a copy of THREE GOOD THINGS, click the photo below:



  

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