by Debbie Macomber

May 2008
ISBN: 978-0778325505
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books

May brings fans of Debbie Macomberís Blossom Street book another installment. This year's selection is entitled Twenty Wishes, and is the story of a group of women who are all widowed and trying hard to deal with their grief.

Ann Marie, Elise, Barbie and Lillie met through a book club at Ann Marieís bookstore, and bonded because each was a widow and trying to move forward with life. This year theyíve chosen to have a Valentine celebration at Ann Marieís store. The night ends with the women deciding that they should make a list of twenty wishes, and see how far they can go towards fulfilling those wishes.

Here the story turns and focuses mostly on Ann Marie, though throughout the story Ms. Macomber does include the other women and the progress they are making on their lists, and finding fulfillment in their lives once again.

Ann Marie decides to try being a lunch buddy for a young girl named Ellen. Her intentions are good to start but when actually at the school Ann Marie has second doubts. However, sheís drawn in by her subconscious and moves forward. She wants to feel a bond with Ellen, but Ellen is a bit hard to get to know until they finally find a common ground, their love of dogs, and in particular Ann Marieís dog Baxter.

When Ellenís grandmother takes ill she calls Ann Marie to help for a night or two. This turns into a longer time than anyone could have anticipated, and for Ann Marie and Ellen the bond between them strengthens slowly but surely, and they both begin to heal from the harshness that has been their lives. If and when Ellenís grandmother recovers and is ready to care for Ellen again, what will become of the relationship that Ann Marie and Ellen have built?

Ms. Macomber has managed to take some delicate issues and handle them with the care that only a truly gifted writer can. Twenty Wishes draws readers in and has them rooting for the four widows to find if not love, certainly a peace within themselves to live happily ever after.

Many people I know worry about reading books in order. Please donít let the fact you might not have read previous Blossom Street books prevent you from reading Twenty Wishes. Yes, there is mention of previous characters, but itís fleeting, and you wonít feel as though youíve missed important back-story.

Now I and other fans of Ms. Macomberís are in wait mode for September and her next release.

Reviewed in April 2008 by Sandi.

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