Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review #27: The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman

Title: The Christmas Cookie Club

Author: Ann Pearlman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Fiction
Release Date: November 2009. Out in stores.

Challenge: Christmas Reading Challenge from Michelle at The True Book Addict.

Rating: 2/5

My Review and Description:

I am sad to say this is my first 2 rating. I do not give these easily simply because I don't really dislike a lot of books I read.

This novel had the makings for a really sweet holiday read. It is about a group of 12 women who on the first Monday of December host a Cookie Club night. Each brings a different type of cookie and then they swap. They also bring a 13th dozen to donate to a hospice.

The host of the club is Marnie and the book is told from her point of view. Each chapter tells of each women's story and also starts off with a short history of some popular cookie ingredients. (almonds, butter, etc). Through it all you learn of the story of how the cookies come to be and also of the history of the club and how the women are all connected.

Marnie's story gets told throughout; her relationship, her one daughter about to give birth, her other desperately trying to have a successful pregnancy.

Let me start with saying that the idea for this and the cute recipes you get throughout this book could have swayed my rating to a low 3. This definitely has marketable appeal for the holidays.
But, in my opinion, it was too much going on with not a lot of substance to back it up. You learn a LOT, and I do mean a LOT, of tragic things that happen to these women. You learn them in pretty horrifying detail right off the bat. So, on one hand, you know all of these details but yet you don't get a sense of really knowing or caring for the characters. I did feel a BIT more for Marnie, since she is fleshed out a bit more through the book. Maybe because there were 12 women and I felt that was too much to really focus on in a 270 page book when about 30 of those pages are recipes and histories of food.

I could see where the author was going. I took from it a very strong message that the power of lasting female friendships are important and crucial to surviving tough times. Amen to that! No joking here.

It's hard for me to say "Stay away from this book" because I know everyone has such different tastes. This is a book set during the Christmas holiday and includes yummy recipes and some neat tidbits on food items. For that, it was kind of fun. But if you are looking for a heart warming holiday read, be prepared to read some intense stories before you get to any warmth.

This was my first book for the Christmas Reading Challenge and I was a little disappointed because I was looking for the cute, warm, cozy holiday read. Atleast I got some good recipes!

Happy Reading!

* red headed book child


Jenny said...

This isn't the first time I've heard this about this book. Thanks for the honest review!

Unknown said...

I saw this in B&N the other night but didn't even pick it up to read the jacket copy. I just can't get into the "club" books for some reason.

Julie@My5monkeys said...

I read this book and those are my thoughts almost...loved the cookie ideas but didn't know all the other ladies.. I gave it a 3 too.


Oh I'm sad to hear that. I've got this one and wanted to read it for the holidays. I still will, but it's too bad it wasn't better. I don't like the sad books. It's not my cup of tea.

Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Too bad! Hopefully you will find some Christmas reads you enjoy more.

Tina said...

I too read and reviewed it and didn't give it a great rating (2 1/2) - I had the same thoughts everyone else did - nice recipes (nothing spectacular) and interesting food history tidbits (I thought those were actually the best part) but cardboard characters with way too much info to digest in such short vignettes. Too bad...the concept was good, butI suspect the publisher was rushing to get this out for the holidays instead of sending it back to her for a thorough editing, culling, and fleshing out for next year.

If you want a good woman's friendship/recipe book, get "The Recipe Club."

Amy J said...

I had heard about this book and wanted to read it fast! Now I think I will just check it out at my library instead of spending the money on it right away. That way if I like it, I can still buy it but if I don't I won't be wasting my money. Great review!

Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

Oh Michelle, I knew you were looking forward to this one too! It really started out so good too! I wonder how the movie will be though, maybe it will be more like what we were expecting???

Lisa said...

Don't feel bad about your low review; you're not alone in not caring much for this one. Definitely going to pass on it.

Marie Cloutier said...

Oh, sorry it didn't work out- but at least you got some recipes, right? :-)