Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

November 24th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: April of Cafe of Dreams sent this to me

Availability: In stores now

Publisher: Atria

I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars

Description from 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.

The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they’ve regretted, the hard choices and amends they’ve had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman’s story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you’ll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women’s friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlman has written a novel that speaks to us all.

When I saw this book at Borders it immediately caught my eye and I was so excited when April said she had an extra copy I could read.  I don’t know if it was raging hormones but the beginning of the book actually had me in tears as I read about Marnie’s daughter, Sky, and her risky pregnancy and previous losses as well as another cookie club member’s, Charlene, loss of a son.

While I enjoyed hearing all of the women’s stories I thought it might have been better if the club were smaller since only some of their stories really resonated with me.  I suppose there could be 12 stories in hopes that at least one will touch everyone who reads this book.  Like I mentioned above I cried when I read about the death of Charlene’s son.  I also could empathize with Sky’s character since I had suffered a previous miscarriage as well.  What was great was we get to see how each of these women overcome the hard ships in their lives with the support of their friends.

The other fun part of the book is the chapters alternate with opening with a cookie recipe and with a short history of various baking ingredients.  It definitely had me wanting to pull out the oven mitts and whip up a batch of cookies.  This is definitely a nice holiday read.

Check out April’s review here.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, General Fiction

8 Responses

  1. Mary

    My library just ordered this and I can’t wait! Thank you for the review.

  2. L. Diane Wolfe

    Cookie recipes as well? Too tempting…

  3. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    I keep hearing great things about this book, especially with the virtual cookie swap going on between bermudaonion and booking mama.

  4. dsuzuki

    I know! The cookie recipes looked good. It got me and a coworker talking about doing a cookie swap at work.

  5. April

    I’m glad you enjoyed this, Debbie. Sky was my favorite character as well. It was easy to relate to her. Ann said that the next story will focus on Sky, so I am excited about that!

  6. dsuzuki

    Thank you so much for sending it to me! That’s great to hear about the next story.

  7. Julie J

    I just got this book in the mail today. I’m really looking forward to reading it! Great review!

  8. Kay

    Glad you “enjoyed” this one (although enjoy is always a weird word to use when a book touches you like that). I saw it at the store and it caught my attention too.

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