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The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Happy Black Friday Everyone!


Are any of you braving the busy stores today to get a jump on your holiday shopping?


I will most definitely not be doing so. I'm still fighting off this nasty cold, and it's my husband's birthday, so if I partake in any Black Friday shopping this year it'll be the online kind. And honestly, I always enjoy online shopping more anyways.


It's crazy to think that Christmas is a month away from tomorrow, and I'm now even more thankful that I started my Christmas shopping back in July. I only have a little bit more to get done, and then I can spend December getting other things ready, working on Blogmas posts, and spending quality time with my friends and family.


Amidst all the holiday preparations, I've definitely been in the mood to mainly read festive themed novels. I'd received The Christmas Cookie Club as a gift from my hubby for Christmas last year, and I knew it was one of the books I definitely wanted to read before Christmas this year.


I finished it yesterday, and so today I'd like to share my thoughts about it with all of you :)



The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman:



Source: Christmas Gift From My Hubby

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: October 20th, 2009

Genre: Women's Fiction

Synopsis:

Mark your calendar. It's the Christmas Cookie Club! 

Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie's oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie's father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie's husband doesn't want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that's a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor's life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.

On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it's anything, is a reminder of delight.



******synopsis taken from goodreads*****


My Review:

I want to preface this review by saying this book was not at all what I was expecting when I picked it up. I was in the mood for a lighthearted holiday read along the lines of Debbie Macomber and Sheila Roberts, and I thought this one would be a good choice. Looking back, I'm fairly certain I mixed this book up with Lori Wilde's First Love Cookie Club, which I've read and loved, and I think I was expecting this one to be similar. And after all, the fact that it was a women's fiction read about an annual Christmas cookie exchange, had me expecting a lighthearted, holiday read with delicious sounding recipes thrown in to boot. However, I did not find myself enjoying this hot mess of a story right from the get go, and it definitely did not live up to the expectations I'd formed in my mind for it.

The story focuses around a group of women who gather each year to partake in a Christmas cookie exchange. The members often changes a bit over the years, but there is consistently twelve members, and it's always hosted by the cookie matriarch, Marnie. While the novel tells the story briefly of each woman who's attending this year's cookie exchange, it's all told from Marnie's point of view, so at least the reader doesn't get lost amidst twelve different pov's. However, it was still quite difficult to keep straight which character was which, as a lot of them were really similarly described, and none of them truly stood out over the others.

Amidst all the introductions of the different women, the reader gets the impression right off the bat that this is not a typical holiday story. In fact, almost every women introduced in the story has her own weird twisted backstory she brings to the table, and I literally got sick and tired of hearing about affairs, adultery, using men for their own personal pleasure, and more language than I've ever seen in a Christmas themed novel before. I thought I'd enjoy the way the author introduces some deeper topics into the story like infertility, a second chance after serving time, overcoming spousal abuse, and so on, but the characters were written in such a bland and boring sense that I literally couldn't force myself to care about what was happening to any of them. As well, I found the stereotypes thrown in to be extremely annoying, and eye ball rolling worthy. Literally, every single problem that could someone could ever have faced was included with at least on of the characters, and it got to the point where this started to feel very unauthentic like the author was just trying to include as many issues as she possibly could. One of the weirdest examples of this is when women includes a Jewish and Arabic version of the cookie she's baked, and uses it as example of world peace. It was strange to say the least, and didn't work for me in the way the author intended it too.

The premise of this novel could have made for an amazing, uplifting holiday story, but instead I just read through over three hundred pages of grown women seeing nothing wrong with adultery, and acting like teenagers over the rash and dumb decisions they've continued to keep making over the years.

I only rated this one two out of five stars, and I felt cheated out of the lovely holiday tale I was anticipating. The only reason I would recommend ever picking this book up is for the lovely recipes included within it, otherwise I'd say definitely give it a pass, and look to Debbie Macomber, Sheila Roberts, or Lori Wilde for much better written holiday stories that are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit.


Thanks so much for reading guys! I hope you all have a great weekend, and I look forward to sharing more bookish content with you all on Monday.


This is not a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. The photo does not belong to me, and all respective rights to the owners. 


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