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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Three Wishes

****½ Three Wishes by Seressia Glass. Contemporary romance.

Divorced computer software designer Maya and widowed doctor Nick are next door neighbors, but they'd never actually met until a rainy day when Maya sees Nick's daughter Taylor outside after school, locked out of the house.

She invites Taylor in and tries to call Nick, but is only able to leave messages. By the time Nick comes home, Taylor and Maya are fast friends, though Maya is appalled at Nick's seeming neglect, and Nick is suspicious of Maya's motives.

It's a classic romance plot, complicated by the interracial aspect--Maya is mixed Vietnamese and black; Nick is white. That's just one part of the story, though. It's not about an interracial romance any more than it's about a widower finding a mother for his child or a childless woman finding a ready-made family. Kudos to Ms. Glass for treating race in such an open, natural way--neither glossing over difficulties nor focusing solely on them.

Maya's family is a great source of community, and her relationships with her sisters and their children, and the way they welcome the lonely Taylor really bring the book to life.

What's best, though, is that I could see the romance develop between Nick and Maya. It wasn't just a case of lust, or even simply companionship and shared love of Taylor: their respect and affection for each other grew as the story unfolded.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that Taylor was a Real Kid™. I frequently dislike children in romances because they tend to behave unrealistically and disappear at convenient times, and the parent's emotions about their child tend to feel false, or even absent. That wasn't true here. Taylor behaved realistically; Nick was appropriately concerned for her; Nick and Maya spent plenty of time with her; and when they did get a chance to be alone, it made sense.

I bought Three Wishes when I was on one of my find-new-to-me-authors buying sprees. I think I've found another winner. I'll be looking for more of Seressia Glass's books.

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