Three Good Things: A Novel

Three Good Things: A Novel

by Wendy Francis

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Sisterhood, motherhood, marriage, baking, and books—these are a few of the things that make this delightful novel a recipe for getting through the tough stuff of life—from the author of The Summer Sail and The Summer of Good Intentions.

Ellen McClarety, a recent divorcée, has opened a new bake shop in her small Midwestern town, hoping to turn her life around by dedicating herself to the traditional Danish pastry called kringle. She is no longer saddled by her ne’er-do-well husband, but the past still haunts her—sometimes by showing up on her doorstep. Her younger sister, Lanie, is a successful divorce attorney with a baby at home. But Lanie is beginning to feel that her perfect life is not as perfect as it seems. Both women long for the guidance of their mother, who died years ago but left them with lasting memories of her love and a wonderful piece of advice: “At the end of every day, you can always think of three good things that happened.”

Ellen and Lanie are as close as two sisters can be, until one begins keeping a secret that could forever change both their lives. Wearing her big Midwestern heart proudly on her sleeve, Wendy Francis skillfully illuminates the emotional lives of two women with humor and compassion, weaving a story destined to be shared with a friend, a mother, or a sister.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451666410
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 01/01/2013
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 176,076
File size: 10 MB

About the Author

Wendy Francis is the author of the novels The Summer Sail, The Summer of Good Intentions, and Three Good Things. She is a former book editor whose work has appeared in the Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post and Congnoscenti. She lives outside of Boston with her husband and son.

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Three Good Things: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
MinaD1 More than 1 year ago
A satisfactory read Middle aged and recent divorcee Ellen McClarety decides to open a kringle bakery in Amelia, small town Wisconsin: the rhythmic routine of running a shop and the heartwarming smell of handmade goodness help Ellen to ease her mind and her worries. The simple repetition of the rituals involved in the craft of the delicious Danish pastry becomes for the former university secretary a creative outlet and a healing mantra to escape the bitterness of her failed marriage and divorce. “Perhaps the divorce would be the catalyst she needed to begin the life she was meant to live.” Ellen becomes romantically involved with one of her customers, shy widower Henry Moon. Maybe the intensity of her feelings for him doesn’t match the sweeping romance she experienced with her more adventurous and unreliable ex-husband, but she will find in the quite man an unsuspected connection and, in the serendipity of their relationship, the key to put the past behind her back once and for all. Meanwhile her younger sister, Lanie Taylor, juggles motherhood and a demanding career as a divorce lawyer, not without doubts and concerns of her own: under the pressure of their jobs and parenthood, Lanie and her husband Rob encounter a rough patch in their marriage and they both start wondering when they will ever give themselves free license to live their lives fully. Both Ellen and Lanie long for their deceased mother’s guidance, but through twists of fate and the intervention of serendipity, they’ll find out that the biggest piece of life advice their mother left for them is locked in the very recipe to bake perfect kringles: “It’s all about balance, […]. Just like in a good kringle, no one ingredient should overwhelm another.” In this ‘slow burn’ novel by Wendy Francis, the traditional Danish pastry becomes the metaphor of a perfect life and, as it usually happens when the setting of a novel is a quaint little town, the small community with its charming environment is a character in itself. In Three Good Things events unfold at a very languid pace and now and then the narration shifts its focus between Lanie’s and Ellen’s story threads, offering a very placid portrait of two women at a turning point in their lives. I wouldn’t classify Francis’ debut novel as fluffy chick lit, for the saving grace of this slow-paced and sometimes contrived storyline is in the final plot twist. Overall, this delicate confection was a satisfactory read.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two sisters that are 10 years apart, but at a young age they endured a tragedy together when their mother passed away.  From an early age, Ellen had to become a semi-parent to her younger sister Lainie because of this they have a unique and very close relationship.  This book is a glimpse into their lives for a year.  It is about them both equally, which I loved.  I didn't feel like one sister was more or less the main character than the other.  
MTDIVA More than 1 year ago
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Good Things????, February 12, 2013 By MOONBEAM - See all my reviews This review is from: Three Good Things: A Novel (Paperback) This is a fast read, nothing too exciting or extraordinary. It is centered around two sisters, one owning a bakery that specializes in making kringles, and the other sister an attorney with a husband and child, living a rather boring life. Although the characters were likeable, the story fell flat on many levels. The plot seemed scattered in many directions, instead of keeping focus on a couple of ideas. The outcome was chopped, and the title left me still wondering about "three good things". . . considering the lack of reference, it didnot seem an appropriate title. I would suggest this as a read, for the sake of something fast and light. I could not, however, recommend this to my book, especially to my book club, as it is just too shallow and does not really warrant time for discussion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very bright, witty and sweet story. I enjoyed it from beginning to the end (actually, the ending made me tear up!). I especially appreciated the references to good grammar, a neat tie in to the story!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Three good things I recommend this novel for anyone is looking for a great novel to read i like it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let me say that this story is simply....terrible. childish. You think it is just getting into the real story and then you get "the end". I finished it and and thought you have got to be kidding me! How it got high ratings is beyond me. No character dwvelopment. No substance. I wont be fooled by this author again.