Title: The Christmas Cookie Club
Author: Ann Pearlman
Release Date: October 20, 2009
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 out of 5
From the dust jacket:
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.
The Christmas Cookie Club really is an uncomplicated book. Though there are a lot of characters in it, the real essence of the novel is about its sheer simplicity. This makes it a nice, fun, quick read.
Because The Christmas Cookie Club is so short and has so many characters, the reader never really gets invested in them. Instead, it’s as if the reader is a one-time visitor to the party, and the main character, Marnie, is telling us everything we need to know about everyone else. Though the book is about many different people, Marnie narrates the entire book and we see each character from her point of view. Pearlman did a very wise thing in writing the book this way because the reader gets to know Marnie better than all the other characters. By keeping the narrator constant, rather than jumping from character to character over the short novel, Pearlman ensures that the reader will make an emotional connection with her main character.
The cookie recipes included in The Christmas Cookie Club seem fun and any baking enthusiast would probably love to try them. She also writes some of the recipes in the characters’ voices, which is a nice touch.
The aspect of the book that kept The Christmas Cookie Club from being great was the lack of depth. Because Pearlman was likely trying to keep the novel short, there is no time to explore any of the characters of the book in depth, perhaps with the exception of Marnie. However, this might endear some readers to the book– a light, quick Christmas read that doesn’t ask for a serious amount of emotional investment. It’s a fun novel that women are sure to enjoy at this time of year