Three Wishes: A true story of good friends, crushing heartbreak, and astonishing luck on our way to love and motherhood

A “Tome of the Brave” - O Magazine


"Three Wishes" is the uplifting true story of three best friends who transformed their lives by taking motherhood into their own hands.

Carey, Beth, and Pam had succeeded at work but failed at romance, and each resolved to have a baby before time ran out. Just one problem: no men. Carey took the first bold step towards single motherhood, searching anonymous donor banks until she found the perfect match. What she found was not a father in a vial, but a sort of magic potion. She met a man, fell in love, and got pregnant the old-fashioned way. She passed the vials to Beth, and it happened again. Beth met man, Beth got pregnant. Beth passed the vials to Pam, and the magic struck again. There were setbacks and disappointments, but three women became three families, reveling in the shared joy of love, friendship, and never losing hope.

Only how to get there stumped me: Do you make love happen or does love happen to you? How much was beyond my control, no matter how many blind dates I went on or wine tastings I signed up for? Was it possible to meet my true love on a seven-minute date, at a clothing optional encounter group, or swing dancing class?

In each other’s down moments, my girlfriends and I reached into the Hat of Hopeful Stories—the coworker who met her husband on the commuter train, the neighbor who had her first child at 44. We pep-talked one another into blind dates on which we were not supposed to mention the two C’s: commitment or (god forbid) children. Stick to quality not quantity, some said. Others disagreed. We weren’t necessarily desperate, but we were determined.


"Best Traditional Nonfiction Book of the Year" (Chicago Writers Association)

An “incredible tale” and “Oprah-esque yarn." (Toronto Star)

“…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.” (Publishers Weekly, starred Web exclusive review)

“Three would-be mothers, some “lucky” sperm and — voilà! — three happy families, with all of the pregnancies happening the old-fashioned way.” (Jane Margolies, The New York Times Style section)

“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! and former Saturday Night Live cast member)

“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)

“As luck would have it, none of the women wind up using the vials. Instead, they find love the old-fashioned way, and the journey is riveting.” (Carol Bradley, author of Saving Gracie)

“…a fascinating collaborative memoir….” (Publishers Weekly, Gwenda Bond )

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

“The book is a riveting account of their journey to motherhood, which takes some unexpected twists and turns…” (Ladies’ Home Journal)

“This true story is a love story—but not a typical one….Though the idea that the “magical” sperm holds the power to transform each woman’s life is a little far-fetched (and the authors do acknowledge this), 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)

“Three Wishes…is an incredibly wise, witty and powerful memoir written by three brave and accomplished women who had the desire to be mothers—each one, on her own terms. On their shared journey to becoming mothers, they 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 and Psychology Today)

“…an insightful new memoir…” (Joanna Broder, The Chicago Tribune)

“Each woman is a wordsmith in her own right….ultimately, their tightly braided stories are as inspiring as they are absorbing.” (Gabrielle Birkner, The Jewish Daily Forward)

“You meet someone, fall in love and then … well, despite the above twist on a Jewish proverb, sometimes you actually can get what you hoped for.” (Nan Myers, The Jewish Exponent)

“Three Wishes inspires the reader to empathize with the authors’ quest for parenthood and even cheer them on. One more thing — although it might sound like a ‘woman’s book,’ its scope is too big and too compelling for such narrow categorization. The book deserves a broad readership.” (Howard Blue,

“Three Wishes wasn’t what I expected. I had expected self pity as Beth, Pam, and Carey struggle to achieve their ultimate goal of motherhood. Instead I found a story of three strong women who were determined to live life to the fullest in their own way.” (

“The ups and downs each woman faced on her way to finding true love and happiness, and the amazing luck each one had is almost unreal. This is definitely a book I’ll be passing along to my friends to read!” (

“This book was a true sisterhood tale of friendship, love, and family.  I was personally drawn into each women’s life as they searched for love and motherhood.  I read Three Wishes in about three days,  it kept me captivated through the authors unfolding friendships, and the trials in the pursuit of happiness and childbirth. The book was made even more touching by how the women were so open and candid that you felt as if you were listening to your best friend talk about the intimate details of her life.” (

“[Carey] 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)

“Each woman is extremely honest with the challenges they faced, but all of the stories are told in a wonderfully descriptive, beautiful way. These women are very talented writers, and I loved following them along their journeys….This book is full of a lot of truth and it’s also full of a lot of hope.” (

“I cannot believe that this is a true story. This is so much like a fairy tale! Friendship and love go hand-in-hand. This is an inspiring story that touches the readers soul.” (

“To be quite honest, I was not terribly excited to read this book.  However, once I started reading it, I was interested.  I just had to keep turning pages to see what was going to happen next.” (

“Sorrow and suffering has a way of connecting us as it did Carey, Beth and Pam, but even more importantly, the dual-edged sword of trials brings strength, wisdom, compassion and patience….The writing is first-rate, honest, direct and accurate.” (

“The adventures that each of these three women go through on the quest to become Moms is both entertaining and at times filled with sorrow.  You will find yourself rooting for Carey, Beth and Pam as they openly and honestly share the ins and outs to becoming a Mom later in life.  The friendship that these three women have formed is one they will lean on for many years to come.” (

“Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood” – by Carey Goldberg, Beth Greenberg Jones and Pamela Ferdinand – is a post-Cinderella fairytale. The women’s unique love stories are the beating heart of this triptych memoir….Pamela’s chapters are wistful and romantic. But while she’s tender, she’s also fierce—a dynamic combination that leads her to the birth of her daughter and a happy ending with Mark….as [the authors] poignantly demonstrate, the road to motherhood can be remarkably, if not happily unconventional.” (Judy Bolton-Fasman,, and The Jewish Advocate)

“Three Wishes is an interesting, funny read…I enjoyed it. It’s a good book to loose yourself in while enjoying the sun at the beach or on vacation, or even hiding away at night from your family for a few moments of ME time.” (

“Can you learn something from this book? Absolutely. This book is a must read for any woman in her mid 30s on and is wanting to have a baby. These women are frank and honest about their experiences, both good and bad.” (

“…not all the paths were easy once the man walked into the picture, and happy endings were not instantaneous. In fact, there were some devastating times before the happy endings. But the journey to happiness itself was an intriguing, sometimes sad, and ultimately heartwarming read.” (Ashley Williams,

“The book is not without controversy. In addition to artificial insemination, each woman faces some agonizing choices and heartbreaking revelations. While their decisions may be divisive, it’s hard not to acknowledge the raw honesty and bravery they need to make them. Life is messy. And complicated. And nothing like we imagined. Goldberg, Jones and Ferdinand are a generation of women with more options than ever before. But with those options come traditional realities along with the hope for a new future.” (Laura Amann, Chicago Sun-Times Media and Pioneer Press)

“The writing is very honest and refreshing.  I felt like I could relate to each of the women…” (

“I highly recommend the book, which gives single women in the same predicament a feeling that they aren’t alone.  Even more important, the book is about hope. Hope that your dreams really can come true.” (Candice Warltier,

“Their story of how they made their wishes come true to have a child can only be described as remarkable.” (

“I must say, I loved Three Wishes. I read it from cover to cover. While I don’t necessarily share the problems these women had with pregnancy or finding someone to share their life with, I could relate to them and that’s what matters.” (Jenny,

An “amazing account of real life magic” (

I delight in getting my hands on a good memoir. One filled with honesty, great writing, and a look into a topic that interests me…..What pours out of this book is love for children and friendship, and women being truly honest with themselves aboutwhat they want. (A Patchwork Of