Book review: The Christmas Cookie Club - Ann Pearlman

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.

My opinion.
The first thing that stood out was of course the cover. It's sweet, it's seasonal and very promising, just like the title.
I really enjoyed the first part of the book. I felt like these woman had so much wisdom and I was intrigued to learn about their lives. But it's those same things that made me enjoy the first part, that put me off the second half of the book. I don't have anything in common with these woman - I'm much too young and haven't "lived" enough. Although this didn't stop me enjoying the story at first, it stopped me from making a real connection to these characters, after the first few... 'testimonies'. Those woman were reflecting on their lives, and even though it was inspirational at times, to me it felt almost depressing. None of them lived the life they hoped they would. I know that's usually how it goes: life throws you curve balls, but I'm still at the age where I dream and make plans for my life with a certain amount of naivety.
It's a wonderfully written book with some amazing recipes, a holiday story about a group of very different people sharing their stories and cookies. The bond these women have is truly remarkable.



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