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Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood Hardcover – April 6, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As a Moscow correspondent for the L.A. Times and a reporter for the New York Times, Goldberg's life was driven by career deadlines. Yet, like her friends Jones, a recently divorced writer, and Ferdinand, a single reporter for the Washington Post, Goldberg longed for a child. Having just ended a relationship, Goldberg decided to order eight vials of sperm from California Cryobank, a deceptively hopeful maneuver that pushed all three down the path toward motherhood. That they actually make it, and find long-term relationships along the way, makes for a happy journey, but the power of this three-pronged narrative is the trio's candor regarding the compromises and complications that arise in the process of becoming mothers. Ironically, the anonymous vials of sperm never fulfill their intended purpose, but instead become a symbol of empowerment, giving each woman the green light to let go of bad relationships, find fulfilling new connections, and determine their own destinies. This personal, carefully recounted tale will resonate with any career woman wondering if it's too late to have it all.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


A "Tome of the Brave" -- O, The Oprah Magazine, June 2010 selection

"An 'incredible tale' and 'Oprah-esque yarn"--The Toronto Star

" incredibly wise, witty and powerful memoir...[The authors] forged an incredible sisterhood that speaks to the importance of friendship in women's lives and shows how empowering friends can be."  --Irene Levine, The Huffington Post (added by author)

"This true story is a love story--but not a typical one....[The] book's message is pretty good: when you decide to pursue your dreams, good things will find a way of happening."  --Woman's Day (added by author)

"The book is a riveting account of their journey to motherhood, which takes some unexpected twists and turns..."  --Ladies Home Journal (added by author)

"…This personal, carefully-recounted tale will resonate with any career woman wondering if it’s too late to have it all.” (Publishers Weekly starred Web exclusive review, May 2010)

"Reading Three Wishes is like being let into the juiciest of confidences. I dare you not to root for these tough and gentle women." (Jill Eisenstadt, author of From Rockaway and Kiss Out )

"Three Wishes is a true-life sisterhood tale of friendship, love, amazing luck, and sperm. I was drawn into each woman's life, and their quest for love and motherhood, although not necessarily in that order. A must-read for the 21st century woman on the same journey." (Alice Domar, PhD, author of Be Happy without Being Perfect and Conquering Infertility )

"Three Wishes is a page-turner--full of twists and turns, great and small--that proves life is still a mystery and nothing, if we want it badly enough, is impossible." (Laura Zigman, author of Animal Husbandry and Piece of Work )

"Riveting, seriously riveting!...It's so triumphant, too, in the best possible way." (Julia Sweeney, author of God Said, Ha! )

"This braided story--of longing, persistence, plans gone awry, the gifts of good luck--is at its center about love in its many forms. With its magic numbers and precious vials, it might be a fairy tale, were it not, in its details, so bracingly, bravely contemporary and real." (Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief and Awake )

"like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants for adults. Lots of women out there will want to read this book." (Library Journal Barbara Hoffert )

"a fascinating collaborative memoir" (Publishers Weekly Gwenda Bond )

"Three Wishes is a memoir-times-three about what happens when co-author Carey Goldberg decides to go to a sperm bank. The eight vials she purchases turn out to have an unexpected effect: As each woman consider using the vials, she falls in love and becomes pregnant without an assist from science. Goldberg, Beth Jones and Pamela Ferdinand take turns sharing their stories, which are not without heartbreak, but happiness and hope ultimately prevail in this surprising tribute to friendship and motherhood, despite the odds." (Bookpage Linda M. Castellitto )

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316079065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316079068
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,593,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If I were not trying to be honest here, I'd say this book was uplifting and heartwarming---a tale of lucky and devotion and friendship and children, one that will inspire many. And maybe it will inspire many, IF they are the "right" kind of women. By that I mean women that these three could relate to---highly educated, with "meaningful" careers, rich (although they would be the first to tell you they aren't rich, just comfortable, but if you can afford a nanny and a house in Boston's suburbs and constant trips around the world, you are RICH), interesting in a intellectual way...if you meet all those qualifications, you might really, really like this book. I don't, and I didn't.

The basic story---3 women around 40 want kids. They don't have the right men. One of them gets a vial of sperm from a donor. Through a complicated series of meeting men and chance, the vial gets passed on twice. In the end---well, I won't give it away, but it's a happy ending.

What bugged me was that these women, by their own life choices, created this situation, but then felt very, very entitled to have the perfect man and baby. They all put their careers first---and that's fine,but anyone as intelligent as they all are knows that close to or over 40 is not the best time to have a baby, and indeed, they find that out in very hard ways. They all want men that are like themselves, but in that, they have about 1% of men to chose from--men with "good" careers, a good education, the right kind of family---I'm pretty sure there are lots of ordinary, good-hearted men out there they would never give a second look.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Aoife VINE VOICE on November 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was reluctant to post a review of this book because my feelings about it are so overwhelmingly negative. I have actually come to believe that the kind of tropes promoted by this book and the genre it represents--the "Eat, Pray, Love" genre of self-absorbed voyages of discovery where the other people in the author's life are mere props--are actually harming society. They make a very unusual, very unhealthy set of life choices available only to the comfortably rich seem more common and normal than they really are. They make perfectly average and nice people feel inadequate, and they sow a destructive kind of discontent. They promote a consumeristic approach to human relationships.

This book is about "successful" 40ish women who want to have babies. I would say "have a baby" is more accurate than "become mothers." Babies, here, are another accessory, an achievement to check off on some list. They feel inadequate for having reached their age without having checked "baby" and "husband" off the list. Without giving too many spoilers away, the book describes their unusually charmed--even for wealthy folks used to getting what they want--path to achieve the goals remaining on their list.

The book is made dull by how utterly unexamined their choices are, and the lack of perspective these women all share in common. They seem oblivious to the fact that they have little in common with the average woman in the USA, they seem to think their story will be some kind of "every woman" struggle that we can relate too. It's not. It's just another memoir of amoral yuppies predictably getting what they want, because they can afford to make it happen no matter the cost.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mary G. Longorio VINE VOICE on March 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Pamela Ferdinand, Beth Jones and Carey Goldberg are busy women and very focused on what they want in life. This is their story of all their wishes.....and making them happen. business, careers, education all the things they wanted could be worked towards, could be achieved. Relationships that proved to be a far more tricky and elusive. And the dreams to one day have children? Well.....

One thing that comes through loud and clear is these three are friends, the kind of friends you want to have, friends for life and that is the engine that drives this story. That friendship sees them through disappointments and trials. That friendship also frames the quest to become mothers. Anyone who has looked tearily at another negative pregnancy test will find this story too a point. These are three women who have financial resources and abilities that baffled me as I read. Is this really the way it is? What about the rest (most) of us who just make it day to day without the reach or finances to just order donated sperm if we want? These three women who are so blessed and able have a story, but don't seem to have a lot of insight or warmth towards the subject. The writing is stilted at times and it is hard to stayconnected. Their friendship is the best part of the book,sadly it is not enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gaby at Starting Fresh blog VINE VOICE on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Our generation of women have had more opportunities than our mothers. Women have spent more time in school and establishing our careers and waited longer to be married or start families. By the time many of us felt ready for that next stage, we faced a quickly shrinking window of time. In Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood, three successful women journalists Carey Goldberg, Beth Jones, and Pamela Ferdinand tell their stories. They'd each had terrible luck with men. Each of them wanted to have children and, in their late thirties, they were no longer willing to wait for the right man.

Former Boston bureau chief of the New York Times, Carey was ready to try a nontraditional path to motherhood. After much consideration, she decides to do it on her own and finds an anonymous sperm donor. The same day that vials arrive, she meets a man, falls in love, and gets pregnant the regular way. Carey offered the vials to her friend Beth who was recovering from a difficult divorce. Before Beth can use the vials, she meets someone during an ice-climbing trip -- and falls in love and also gets pregnant. Beth passes on the vials to their friend Pam, the eternal romantic. Suddenly, Pam's luck changes too -- and she finds herself in love and a mother. Three Wishes is a true story of best friends who find that when they stop waiting for fairy-tale endings, their "happily ever afters" begins.

Three Wishes spoke to me. I loved that these women became friends in their late thirties, when it seems like we have our own set of friends and are unlikely to branch out. While the book tells their stories of love and motherhood, it's the friendships that engaged me, drew me in.
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