Four Wishes

Four Wishes - Christine Nolfi 3.5 star read

Four Wishes is the fourth book in The Liberty Series set in the small rural Ohio town of Liberty. As with most small towns, Liberty is a place where everyone knows their neighbor (and their neighbor's business), and everyone is eager to pitch in when there's someone in need. Four Wishes starts with Meade trying to plan a wedding for her sister Birdie in less than three weeks. She must do this while running her business and dealing with her seriously depressed and paranoid father. When it appears that Birdie isn't really taking an interest in the final planning of the wedding, much of the final decision-making is left up to Meade. She handles it with ease. Meade hasn't been sure about what she wanted from life other than a successful business and to be a good daughter, but now wants what Birdie has: a loving man and the thought of a growing family.

Birdie is anxious to get married and is willing to have a picnic dinner rather than the formal affair wanted by her father and organized by Meade. She knows that this is their way of helping out, so she gives in. All Birdie really wants is for her sister to open up to her and for them to grow closer.

Dr. Mary Chance is struggling, and juggling, the responsibilities of a growing medical practice and family life. Her husband is happy to help out around the house, but is eager to grow their family (an idea that is strongly encouraged by his daughter Blossom). When Mary gets pregnant she wants to keep it a secret, but before she knows it the entire town is celebrating her pregnancy and her stepdaughter is researching baby names. Mary is cautiously optimistic that things will work out for the best with this pregnancy, but she worries that her superstitions about not declaring a pregnancy until the second trimester might foreshadow tragedy.

Glade Wilson is happy to be away from poverty. She's grateful to her Aunt Reenie and to Meade for taking her in. She knows that without an education she may never make be more than the working poor, but she's taken the first step to starting a new life. Now that she's faced with the imminent arrival of her baby, she worries that she'll be a good mother and how much pain childbirth will bring.

On the surface it may be difficult to see what a teenager, two thirty-something professional women, and one forty-something entrepreneur have in common. It quickly becomes evident that they all want the same thing, love and a family. They all may be going about using different methods, but the end result is the same for them all. Meade seems to be the one with the most: a privileged childhood, wealth, beauty, brains, and independence, but looks can be deceiving. Meade is the one that needs just as much help as the others. She needs to know that she can be loved for who she is as a person, not what she brings to the table. She needs to know that it is acceptable to not be perfect and no one really expects perfection from her.

Ms. Nolfi has, once again, crafted a story that spotlights the joys and sorrows of love, friendship, and family. Four Wishes provides great romance and family drama while dealing with some weighty issues such as teen pregnancy and depression. These weighty issues aren't glossed over but dealt with in a realistic and respectful manner. I enjoyed Four Wishes, as I enjoyed reading the previous books in this series. I found Four Wishes to be a fast-paced read that made me smile, frown, and want to cry. If you enjoy reading contemporary fiction with realistic characters dealing with realistic problems, then you'll definitely want to add Four Wishes to your TBR list.