Contemporary Fiction is such a broad category that to label the book as such is really not telling the reader anything. On the other hand, I am always a bit leery of labeling a book as Chick-Lit because I think that many readers make assumptions about the book based solely on that. In fact, I used to think that I was not a big fan of "chick-lit" but as I have read more and more books in this genre I realized that I do like chick-lit, but that I am just picky about the books I read. I find that if the characters have something other than the run of the mill personality or back story. I am more likely to enjoy the book. Likewise, if the plot is varied and the issues presented unique in some way, I am more likely to enjoy the book. The Wishing Hill by Holly Robinson fits both of these criteria for me.
The main characters in The Wishing Hill are three women whose lives are linked together in an unbreakable way, although we may not understand what that is at the beginning of the book. Juliet is a women coming up on middle age who finds herself suddenly on her own. Her husband has left her and the bohemian lifestyle they were living, leaving her surprised and wondering where her life is leading now. On top of it all, she finds herself unexpectedly pregnant after years of thinking that she is infertile. Desiree is Juliet's mother, an aging actress who is used to being the center of attention and afraid that life is passing her by. Claire, Desiree's neighbor, is a single woman in her 60s who has never married, but still is in love with the married man who she had an affair with in her early twenties. All of them are strong women in their own way. Even the male characters in this book were unique. In fact, I would love to read a book where any one of the male characters were the main focus, that is how interesting they seemed to be. From Will, Juliet's staid, middle class brother, all the way to the divorced contractor working on Juliet and Desiree's house.
The storyline of The Wishing Hill did not disappoint, either. It is more than just the a story of three women with intertwining lives. Although the main focus of the book is on how the three women's lives intersect, we are also treated to their separate stories, which I found very interesting. As with the male characters, I think that any one of these stories could have sustained a book all on their own. You might think that having all of the stories in one novel would be confusing, but Holly Robinson uses different points of view and travel between locations to weave them together until they make one seamless story.
Holly Robinson's insights and superb writing talent made this book a joy to read and one that I would easily recommend to my friends, or even buy for someone. As for me, I am looking forward to other novels by Holly and hope to read much more by her.
Thank you to Holly Robinson for making a copy of this book available through the Sisterhood of the Traveling Book in exchange for my review.