A couple years ago, I signed up for one of those book-of-the-month club deals. I was trying to complete a “free” offer to get something else, and since I love books so much, I thought this would be the perfect deal for me. Not so…It ended badly, but this isn’t a story about that. This is a review of a book.
One of the books I ordered as part of that deal was James Patterson’s (Was it REALLY written by James Patterson, or was his name just tacked up there to generate sales? I can’t decide.) THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING. The book came in the mail and it sat on the shelf…for a long time…
Until this past Christmas when I decided that I was going to try to read a book every week of the new year, as one of my resolutions. Since it was the holiday season, I happened to see that book on my shelf and picked it up, thinking it was the perfect read for the time of the year. So … I gave it a chance.
It started well. It was, at the title indicates, a story about a Christmas wedding. I love Christmas stories, and I love wedding stories. Things were going great.
Then I found out that the bride wasn’t telling her children who the groom was going to be. She was keeping it a secret. Well, that seemed a little strange, but I was willing to roll with it.
Further into the story, after we meet Gaby (the bride) and all her kids, we meet the potential grooms…and we discover that, in fact, Gaby has not even told her potential suitors (three men have proposed to her at various times) which one of them she has decided to marry. There is a BIG hint about not-quite-halfway through the book, following all the best screenwriting conventions, but it’s not entirely clear, of course, until the end. And that’s where the book lost me. I mean, I kept reading it because I was invested in the story, but I certainly didn’t like the story anymore, and I really didn’t care for either Gaby or the three suitors who would subject themselves to her game.
All these men were supposed to be Gaby’s friends. She loved them all. Okay, but if she really loved them, and if they were really her friends, wouldn’t she TELL them which of them she was going to marry?
I am blessed to be married to my very best friend in the whole world, and I tell him everything. He trusts me and I trust him because we have VERY OPEN COMMUNICATION. We share things with each other. Actually, we share EVERYTHING with each other. He asked me to marry him, and I told him I would. There was no game to it. Neither one of us buys into any of those romantic games that seem all too common these days, and the cheapening of the relationship that SHOULD lead up to the marriage bond, as is displayed in this book, is EXACTLY (I think) why so many marriages end in divorce these days.
People aren’t honest with each other. People don’t talk to each other. People don’t really know or understand who they’re marrying, so they CAN’T make a decent sort of commitment to another person. I NEVER understood Gaby’s justification of her game. I don’t even know that she DID justify it, and I really didn’t understand why any ONE of those men would be willing to marry her after what she put them through. THAT was the one thing I hated about the book.
Still, it was an interesting story. It kept me engaged (Ha! No pun intended.) till the end. But is it one that I can really recommend with my whole heart? No, definitely not. It was okay, but that’s as good as it gets, in my humble opinion.