This Christmas the Carlyle sisters will rediscover the gift of family
For some families, a Christmas reunion is like a feel-good movie. For Beth Carlyle, it might be more of a disaster epic. Her ex-husband’s new girlfriend is already pregnant. Her self-absorbed, bestselling author mother recently suffered a stroke and has summoned Beth’s sisters, Freya and Trinity—neither of whom even seem to like Beth very much—back to Magnolia. Beth’s so lonely and stressed that she spills her guts to a stranger, wondering why the handsome newcomer affects her so deeply. Reality TV star Freya deliberately forged a career that would upset her mother, who’s always been as brilliant as the sun…and just as distant. Now a handsome literary agent is making Freya dream of a different life. As for Trinity, she just wants to start over after leaving an abusive relationship and make a future for her and her baby.
It’ll be a Christmas like no other in Magnolia. But the Carlyle sisters might find they have more in common than their shared past—and that the holidays are made for second chances.
Includes a bonus holiday novella set in Magnolia!
The Carolina Girls:
Book 1: Wildflower Season
Book 2: Mistletoe Season
Book 3: Wedding Season
The fact that I read the paperback version of this and still finished it in a day speaks volumes!
The Wish List is the story of three sisters (and their mother, though honestly, she’s pretty peripheral for most of it), their relationships, and all the ways that they are both going back (specifically to their hometown, for two of them and to trying to be a family again for the group) and starting over (for pretty much all of them).
Beth, Freya, and Trinity, the sisters, are all given POV chapters here, which really worked for the story. I liked seeing everything through each of their eyes in turn, noting the differences in how they each perceived their childhoods and what was happening now as well as during their time apart. It’s a little convenient that they each found a guy that was perfect for them in Magnolia, but since I really liked all of their romances I’m not going to complain much. 😉
My biggest issue with the story is that after all the characters went through on the page for 300+ pages, some pretty major conflicts were resolved off page and just kind of tossed in via mentions at the very end (shades of “super easy, barely and inconvenience,” anyone?) which was ultimately a bit less than satisfying. And honestly, I don’t think their mother did anywhere near enough to make up for their childhoods, either. It’s great that she’s changed now, but…yeah. The sisters’ newfound relationships, though–with each other as well as romantic ones–wrapped up nicely and gave me all the warm feels.
But their mother…
I haven’t read any of the other books in the series yet(!), but this worked just fine as a standalone.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.