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
--This text refers to an alternate
From Publishers Weekly
Maggie, Roxanne and Candice, the heroines of Wickham's latest Brit romp, are three successful women in their early 30s working in the editorial office of the Londoner, a magazine enjoying a circulation renaissance. They meet on the first of every month at the Manhattan Bar, a posh lounge that caters to clientele sporting Prada bags. There, Wickham serves up a healthy dose of good-natured witticisms mixed with biting retorts as the trio bonds over adultery, pregnancy jitters and guilt. Freelancer Roxanne secretly dates an unknown referred to by the women as Mr. Married while jet-setting to Cypress and other foreign locales on a regular basis. Meanwhile, Maggie's stuck at home in the country on pregnancy leave from her position as editor. It is kindhearted reporter Candice, however, who is in for serious trouble. When she recognizes a waitress at the Manhattan Bar as Heather Trelawney, whose family was ruined by Candice's father, Candice decides to make amends. When Heather applies for a job as editorial assistant at the magazine, Candice supplies her with a writing sample of her own, landing her a job over 300 other applicants. Not heeding her friends' advice to leave well enough alone, Candice continues to extend herself beyond normal bounds of generosity and is surprised to discover in the end she's been duped and betrayed by Heather. In a predictable climax, Wickham delivers a nicely sewn up ending with each of the character's problems resolved, although none all that happily. Readers desiring a chatty, neatly told tale will be delighted by the author's deft handling of character development and drama.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.