Title: The Christmas Cookie Club
Author: Ann Pearlman
Genre: Holiday Fiction
How I Read It: ARC received from the publisher – The views expressed in my review are mine alone and I have received no compensation for these opinions.
Synopsis: On the first Monday of December, every year, twelve friends gather in the evening with batches of homemade cookies wrapped in beautiful packages. They drink wine, they eat, and they take turns telling the story of the cookies they have baked.
Somehow these stories are always emblematic of the year that has just passed. Marnie’s daughter may lose her baby, Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend, Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, Taylor’s husband has left her. These are stories about sisterly love and conflict, passion and disillusionment, family hardships and pleasures.
My Review: As the title indicates, each year, a group of friends meets before the holiday season to do a cookie exchange. We quickly learn, however, that the cookie’s are really just an excuse for these friends to get together, one of the few times a year that all of them are together to share with each other.
This novel hit a familiar cord with me, as someone who had previously read The Friday Night Knitting Club series. The ideas behind the two books are similar – a great reason for a fabulous group of ladies to get together and share their lives on a regular basis. I wanted to know these ladies, to share in their lives, or at the very least start my own kind of cookie club.
The stories that unfold during the course of this novel are very heartwarming, and I definitely got teary through several parts of it. I loved the friendships that we got to see throughout the book, the history being told from Marnie’s point of view as she is the one who brought the cookie club together. I wanted to just settle in with a nice glass of wine and be a part of their party, even though I know I couldn’t be invited because I’d make number thirteen!
It also does a great job of reminding you of how valuable your friends can be, the people who are with you through many facets of your life and help you through it all as you age together. I was recalling my great friendships as I was reading the book, and thinking of how grateful I am for the people in my life. We’re all so lucky to have found these wonderful people who truly make our lives great.
This was a very fast read, I finished it in less than a day, and it was exactly the light and lovely read I was looking for. Not only were the friendships fantastic to read about, each chapter starts with a cookie recipe and you could easily use them yourself. Sprinkled in between each chapter is an informative section about different ingredients of baking, such as flour, nuts, ginger, butter, and my favorite, cinnamon. I loved reading about that history, it’s like learning about baking while reading about cookies that made me excessively hungry.
I thought this was a nice holiday read, and something book clubs would enjoy this time of the year. You could combine it all into one, have your book/cookie club!
Read this book if: This is billed as chick-lit, and I’d definitely agree with that label this time, as much as I hate that label. It’s a delightful story and would be a great fireplace read for anyone looking for a light book.
My Rating: 3/5 – Two thumbs up, fine holiday fun!