Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: "The Christmas Wedding"

"The Christmas Wedding" by James Patterson
First published in 2011
266 pages
My rating: 3 out of 5
(image source)

"The Christmas Wedding" looks and sounds like a Christmas book, but it's really only holiday-related in that it's about a wedding set to take place on Christmas. Stockings are hung and a reindeer suit makes an appearance, but the novel is mostly about 54-year-old widow Gaby Summerhill, her four children and the mystery man Gaby is about to wed.

Three men have proposed to Gaby -- her late husband's brother, a Jewish rabbi and a former NHL hockey player. Along with Gaby's oldest pal Stacey Lee, the five are the best of friends. Gaby's children are scattered along the east coast and she decides to lure them all to her Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home for Christmas by setting her wedding date for December 25 -- and she refuses to tell anyone, including her three suitors, which man she'll be marrying.

That all sounds like the makings for a cheerful holiday romance novel, but there's really quite a lot of heavy stuff involved. Each of Gaby's four children is dealing with major life issues, and though the book has a happy ending I felt there was too much drama to wade through, especially for a Christmas novel. We briefly shadow each of the Summerhill kids -- three women and a man -- in the days leading up to the wedding, but it seemed like not enough time was spent on any one person for me to really empathize with any of the characters. And I also had a hard time identifying with Gaby; though the premise of the mystery-man marriage was cute, it was just so unrealistic. What about the other two poor men -- suppposed best friends of Gaby's -- who were strung along, only to find out their proposals weren't the one accepted? And the exact reasoning for Gaby's mystery marriage game is never really revealed. Perhaps in a comic romance I could've accepted it, but "The Christmas Wedding" is more of a serious, true-to-life book.

I can't say that I didn't like the novel -- it was an quick, easy and not unenjoyable read, though I suspect the main thing that kept me turning pages was my desire to learn which of the three candidates Gaby decided to marry. And I was disappointed that a novel with "Christmas" in the title did nothing to fuel my holiday spirit.

So now I'm off to find a true Christmas novel! Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. It was still a fun read though. I too wondered who she was going to end up marrying.


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