Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Cookie Club

The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann Pearlman is about a group of women who get together in early December every year for one night of cookie swaps, food, drink, and talking about the past year.  The main character, Marnie, is a middle-aged woman who has two daughters--both pregnant.  One is 18, the other is in a high-risk pregnancy and is awaiting test results that could determine the health of her baby.  The party takes place at Marnie's house every year, and each woman brings 13 dozen cookies--one dozen for each woman, and one dozen for a hospice.

As each chapter begins, there is a short history about a main ingredient in cookies:  chocolate, flour, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon, butter.  It's a great little history lesson and a nice way to break up the stories of each character.  There is also a cookie recipe included in each chapter, too.

I have to say, this is not really my kind of book.  I usually avoid novels where a group of women gather together to talk.  It seems like no one can have a "normal" life; someone is ill, someone is having an affair ( or their husband is), someone has lost their job or home, and someone desperately wants a child.  Now I understand that these things happen every day, sometimes many things to one person, and no one has a "normal" life.  We all have garbage happen to us.  But at the same time, we have a lot of good times  and sometimes major life issues just aren't happening.  Marriages are great, people are all employed, cupboards are full, and no one is sick.  I'm blessed to have friends where none are experiencing any of those issues.  Maybe some day one or more of us will, but for now, if we had a cookie club, it would be full of food, drinking, and laughing about absurd things.

This is definitely a book group book, and it would make a wonderful discussion/book party around this time of year.  And the cookies all sound marvelous.  Fans of Kate Jacobs and Kristin Hannah should grab this one.  It's now in paperback.  I got my copy at Barnes and Noble in the bargain department for $5.98.  I will pass it onto someone else.  Maybe it will inspire you to start your own  holiday tradition with your girlfriends.

It's not a bad story--don't get me wrong on this.  The characters are all likeable, I just got a bit tired of the undertone of unhappiness amidst the cookies.  I read some reviews online, and I'm definitely in the minority on this one; people raved about it.  I spent yesterday afternoon at my friend's house, making cookie dough, eating soup, and drinking wine.  We had our own little cookie party and enjoyed ourselves (and her new stove) tremendously. Not a tear was shed, even by little Turtle, and she was coasting on apple cider and no afternoon nap!


  1. this is the book that had me start food for thought, i read it in nov and thought start fft on jan 1st~

    so much food, so little time!

  2. i had to go check if i liked it, i gave it 3.5 stars, i am on the same page as you...

  3. I'm glad someone agrees with me. I thought maybe I was missing a gene that requires women to read and completely enjoy group dramas.