Cocktails for Three
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Cocktails for Three focuses equally on three different women, and on their friendship, unlike many books aimed at twentysomething and thirtysomething females. It is not told in the first person, thus avoiding solipsistic navel-gazing about the lack of decent men and their early-life crises. This is enough to make it stand out from the mass of "women-friendly" novels that crowd the marketplace with their pink book jackets and lurid strap-lines (unfortunately, its book jacket would have you think otherwise, but don't be put off).
Wickham cleverly puts herself in turn into the shoes of Maggie, Roxanne and Candice, exploring their contrasting lives and outlooks. All three appear incredibly successful in their glamorous careers working for a glossy magazine (perhaps in order to up the typical aspirational stakes of this genre). However, they harbour other facets: the diffidence and depression of the new mother; the hidden grief and yearning of the mistress; and the guilt and idealism of the daughter attempting to right her late father's wrongs. Heather, the fourth woman who plays a pivotal role in the plot, is never given her own voice or viewpoint, but instead is judged and discussed by the others, which does mean her eventual character resolution is somewhat predictable. Yet these elements of predictability in the characterisations and plot detail act as a catalyst for a series of events that are less predictable and are thus both satisfying and moving.
Along the way, Wickham successfully tackles death, birth, guilt and romantic love with a depth of emotion that does credit to her ability to localise these universal themes without trivialising them. Cocktails for Three blends familiar ingredients with a few sharp twists to create an exhilarating mix. Olivia Dickinson
Recording label: Black Swan Manufacturer: Black SwanEAN: 9780552772280Binding: PaperbackISBN: 0552772283Number of items: 1Number of pages: 304Publication date: 2004-06-01Release date: 2004-06-01Language: English (Published)
Language: English (Original Language)
Language: English (Unknown)