Be Careful What You Wish For

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9780006514909: Be Careful What You Wish For

From the author of THREE WISE MEN, a wise, funny and uplifiting novel of women, men, love and friendship.

Have you ever had a secret you couldn't even tell your very best friend?

Molly and Helen have been friends for ever – well, since university in Dublin. Now in their thirties, they have successful careers, go everywhere together, share everything – or so it seems.

Outgoing Molly is wistfully thinking it would be nice to meet a man who'd make her want to bolt to the altar at breakneck speed, when she finds herself juggling two. There's Fionn, her renegade ex, returned from a failed marriage to woo her (to Helen's disapproval), and gorgeous Georgie who runs the local off-licence.

Helen, meanwhile, is steadfastly against long term relationships. So Molly is astonished when Helen confides that she's fallen in love with someone she shouldn't have, so head-over-heels that resistance is futile – but she won't tell Molly who it is.

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Review:

‘a smartly-observed entertaining examination of friendship, flirting and sex in the capital city’ Irish Independent

‘ A tale of flirting and friendship with an original, if slightly disturbing, twist’ COMPANY

Praise for Three Wise Men:

‘I’m in awe. Three Wise Men is a great book well written, engrossing, believable, compelling. …And into the bargain, it’s funny!’ MARIAN KEYES

‘A lovely first novel. Martina Devlin immediately grabs your heart.’ JILLY COOPER

From the Author:

"Be careful what you wish for - it might come true," is a piece of sound advice my mother passed on to me.

Not that I appreciated it at the time. But the older I'm growing the more I see the sense in this nugget of folk wisdom, although it has less to do with maturity and more to do with discovering your Mammy's usually right.

We're not great judges of what's best for us. I shudder now with the benefit of hindsight at the fates I've been spared. And all of them would have been self-inflicted.

Which is what prompted me to write a novel called Be Careful What You Wish For, because wishes have a tendency of delivering what they promise - with an additional twist. An unforeseen and not entirely welcome twist.

This is a completely unscientific premise but I believe wishes can be funnelled into a vortex and occasionally if you want something desperately enough you can make it happen. Just by pummelling the fates with your invocations.

Then you have to live with consequences.

Given a free hand on the wish front, at 12 I'd have become Mrs Donny Osmond. Never mind that it wouldn't have been legal in Ireland, I was banking on the Mormons applying less rigid rules to sub-teen marriages.

At 12 and a bit it was Mrs Les McKeown of the Bay City Rollers. At 12 and another bit it was Mrs David Essex.

At 13 I abandoned pop stars and decided to take the veil as soon as they'd have me. I'd be just like Audrey Hepburn in The Nun's Story.

At 15, spirituality in freefall, I wanted to be that year's Rose of Tralee. I know, humiliating isn't it. The less said about that aspiration the better.

At 17 I'd have been married to a Donegal farmer (no-one in particular, I just liked the notion of it.) We'd live in a thatched cottage somewhere remote, even by Donegal standards, rear chickens and converse exclusively in Irish.

Obviously my Irish was going to have improve enormously if we were to string a sentence together but therein lies the joy of wishes. Practicality doesn't have to impinge on them.

At 20 the pop world beckoned again but instead of being a Mrs Celeb I hankered to be the diva in my own right. Although not a solo star: I fancied life as a singer in one of those Supremes-style all-girl bands, wearing too much eye-liner and singing close harmonies.

Myself and the other nymphettes would weigh our fanmail, not read it, be driven everywhere in limousines, have more shoes than Imelda Marcos, bathe in champagne - occasionally drinking it - and have John Peel worshipping at our feet.

We'd eventually retire and I'd accept cameo roles in low budget, critically acclaimed films. The other girls would just have to play house: there wouldn't be enough film parts to share around.

Actually that wish still stands the test of time. Except we'd probably be making pathetic comeback tours now and everybody would claim we had to have facelifts before we could be let out in public.

I was too busy earning a living and having a social life between 21 and 30 to think about wishes. And life was fairly interesting without them. But then I entered a new decade and made another wish: to write a book.

That wish came true last year with Three Wise Men, whereupon the be careful what you wish for axiom weighed in. You're a hostage to fortune when you write a novel: readers complain about nobody ending up happily ever after, reviewers are allowed to say mean things in the interests of literary comment and the Mammy chides you for not smiling in photographs.

On balance it's probably still worth it.

There were other wishes I've toyed with in life but I'll spare you the rest. Suffice to say that getting what you want can be a diabolical stroke of luck.

Anyway that's the principle behind my latest novel, Br Careful What You Wish For, which features a couple of women forever sighing for the moon. And facing panic-stricken meltdown when their wishes are granted.

Which takes us back to this idea of consequences Wishes don't always arrive in the shape we expect - and sometimes there are repercussions.

A retired lady told me she'd realised a long-held dream and moved back home to Ireland after spending her working life in Britain.

But within a few months her husband had died and she was alone in a country that wasn't nearly as friendly as it had seemed on holidays. She missed her children and grandchildren and wanted nothing more than to sell up and move back to England. Be careful what you wish for...

A happily married friend always felt a nagging sense of inadequacy in her relationship because her husband had a Trinity first and she'd never gone to college.

With his encouragement she gave up work and enrolled at UCD as a mature student. She earned the degree - but the marriage broke up because he met someone else while she was off studying. Be careful what you wish for...

A former neighbour had a crush on a girl all through school and college but never dared to tell her in case it runined their friendship. She was on the brink of emigrating to Australia when he plucked up the courage.

Cue violin crescendo: she loved him back, he followed her out to Sydney, they had a baby and set up home together. Life was utopian. Except it wasn't. He missed home, he couldn't settle on the other side of the world, worried about his elderly parents and eventually returned to Dublin. Alone. Be careful what you wish for...

Of course you don't have to go around making rash wishes and then cringing at their outcome - although the habit is a hard one to break. You could just leave it all to chance.

To air another gem from my mother's inexhaustible collection, what's for you won't go by you.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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