Nathan Brown is awakened in the night by a little man named Bartholomew, Messenger of God, Second Class. Nathan discovers that he has been appointed Fairy, Third Class and must grant three wishes by the end of the month. He would have shrugged it off as a bad dream except for the little gold star that is embedded in his chest over his heart.
Nathan doesn’t think of himself as someone who can grant wishes. He doesn’t think much of himself at all. He scrounges a living selling girdles that his mother designed before she died. He lives in the house his grandparents practically gave him when they moved to a retirement complex. Life for Nathan was a downward spiral that he just didn’t have the energy to fight. How was he going to find the strength to grant wishes for others? His first wish is for a young runaway named Maria. She makes him see himself a little differently. She also forces him to see his father in a new way. His first wish isn’t too hard and Nathan thinks he will be able to get through the rest just fine. That all changes when he gets his second wish. This is a wish that he would rather die than fulfill, yet if he doesn’t grant this wish it will mean his death.
Three Wishes is a story of how people change and how what we think we know isn’t as certain as we would like to think. Judy creates interesting characters that are easy to like in spite of their flaws. These are people who are just trying to muddle through their lives until a Messenger of God, Second Class upsets everything.
The story is set around about the time of Christmas, but it is not primarily a Christmas story. It is well worth reading at any time.