Heartwarming, tearjerking small-town romance from veteran Delinsky (A Woman's Place, p. 8, etc.), replete with an out-of-body experience. Bree Miller, a well-liked waitress at an unbelievably good diner in Panama, Vermont, is hit by a car on a snowy night and, during surgery, ``dies'' briefly. While her heart's stopped, Bree is aware of floating above the operating table and of encountering a loving and gentle bright light. When she wakes up, she also remembers having been given three wishes--although after her third wish is granted, the deal goes, her life will be over. She also, when she wakes up, finds herself being taken care of by Tom Gates, a bestselling author in the John Grisham mold, who has come to little Panama to escape his celebrity status and to try to find himself. Although it wasn't Tom's fault, it was his car that hit Bree, and so this ``movie starhandsome'' guy now finds that the time he spends caring for Bree helps him feel better about himself. He has, in fact, given up his fast-track life out of guilt over his mother's death: He rarely visited her, and when she died (of cancer), he was sailing the Adriatic with his equally famous friends. Bree helps to make him into a much nicer guy. Indeed, he becomes a supremely thoughtful man, fetching and carrying for Bree and listening to her concerns. Eventually, they fall in love, of course, and he gives Bree a really swell diamond engagement ring. Bree finally makes her three wishes--but not very shrewdly. When the white light comes for her (she's found with a serene smile on her face), the bereft Tom manages to go on with the help of his newborn son and the loving small-town Panamanians. Delinsky rises above gag-me-with-a-spoon melodrama--though just barely.