Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Cookie Club by 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.

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.

The Christmas Cookie Club explored a large group of friends, each with their own story to tell. All their stories are told by the host of the Christmas Cookie Club, Marnie. I loved how flawed and complex these women's lives were, it made the story realistic in my opinion. I also loved the strong friendships that were illustrated and how Marnie was able to bring together all these women from different parts of her life for one night of the year.

The idea of the actual Christmas Cookie Club was a fabulous one. From what I've read, it sounds like it was based on an actual club the author belongs to. I have to tell you, it sounds like a lot of fun and I wish I could be in one. Each section starts off with one of the cookie recipes and ends with a history of an essential ingredient for baking. While I'm not much of a baker these recipes sound delicious, but what I really enjoyed were the mini history's of the ingredients. All sorts of things I never knew!

While I liked how many women were profiled in this story it almost became too much. I sometimes had to turn back to recall someone's story when they popped up in a later chapter. Maybe a few less women would have made the story a little easier to recall. Some women were definitely more front and center than others and that did help.

Overall a great and touching story that's perfect for the holiday season!

The Christmas Cookie Club was released on October 20th
Genre: Women's Fiction
4/5 stars
Review copy provided by Amazon Vine


  1. I'm glad to see you liked it! I enjoyed this book for the women's friendships too.

  2. I won this book, but haven't had time to read it yet.

  3. I liked this book, but had trouble with the sheer number of characters.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...