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One Week In December

3.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  565 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
The Rowans' rambling Maine farmhouse is just big enough to contain the family members gathered there in the week before Christmas. Becca Rowan has driven north from Boston with one thought in mind - reclaiming the daughter she gave up when she was a frightened teenager. Raised by Becca's older brother and his wife, Rain Rowan, now sixteen, has no idea she was adopted. And ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by Kensington (first published September 30th 2006)
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Dec 29, 2011 Ruth rated it liked it
It moved a bit slow, but a tale of a family that pushed the daughter to give her daughter up to her older brother and his wife and become the aunt. Years later, a lonely career woman, she returns home for Christmas to drop the bomb to her family that she wants to tell the now teenage girl that she is her mother. The complicated relationship of this multigenerational NE family tended to drag on, but I was expecting more of a romance. That was hinted at but just beginning at the very end of the bo ...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Intense family drama with the tangled web we all weave. I totally related to the situtation about saving face of the family but sacrificing personal feelings. The premise of wanting to tell the truth was so strong that I was cheering and yet kringing about what it all meant. Not wanting to tell you what really happened, I will have to just say that you will love this novel. Written very well and such a page turner...I loved it and will be picking up Chamberlin again!

Second Review

Wnat an indepth
Overall, I am not a fan of this author's writing style. This book has way too many exclamation points, and cheesy dialogue at times. The basic premise of the book was interesting enough to lead me to buy this book (for 40% off, but still) and left me disappointed. Could have been much, much more interesting. On a positive note, there were interesting conversations about fate, forgiveness, and what it means to be a part of a family.

But I can't really recommend this one.
Dec 31, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book. It was more of a 3.5 then a 3 for me. It was a little predictable and that's what lowered the rating for me. I liked how all the family characters were developed and part of the story.
Dec 28, 2009 Carmela rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2009
I liked the story, I liked the main character, I resented her family and their insistence that she "do the RIGHT thing." All of the tender, touching moments seemed contrived and a little judgmental. It took me forever to read and I felt a little like it was work. Good story...I liked the neighbor, but that family sucked.
Sep 02, 2011 Kelly rated it did not like it
blah. I read half of this book and was so bored by the author's style that I had to put it down and say NO MORE!!! The characters are weak and uninteresting. There's no real depth to anyone. The story line could have been successful, written by another author. No more Holly Chamberlin for me.
Feb 23, 2011 Ann rated it it was ok
Meh . . . it's like it was written off a template. Literally a beach read for me this week! Glad it was passed on to me and I didn't pay for it. Fine for a beach read, as it is predictable and a little banal.
Jul 29, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
One Week in December starts with a seemingly predictable family-get-together that quickly unravels to reveal the members hidden turmoil. Readers realize that city-slicker Becca is angered about going home and doesn't feel accepted by the family. As the chapters turn, the truth is revealed and that when she was a teenager she gave birth to her brother's adopted daughter. Feeling that she was forced to give up her child, she now wants to put things right and not wait until her daughter's 21st birt ...more
May 01, 2010 Clare rated it it was ok
One of the reasons why we chose international adoption is because we didn’t want our child’s birth mother to ever change her mind, and re-claim our child. So I started this book with a bit of anxiety. Could I really be sympathetic to a woman who gives up her child and then wants her back? Turns out, no.

Becca drives up to her parents one Christmas with the intention of telling Rain, her teenage niece, the truth – that Becca is actually her mother and that Becca’s brother and his wife, who raised
Trish Ruthven
Mar 15, 2012 Trish Ruthven rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I'll give this book 3.5 stars.

This story centres around Becca Rowan, a single 32 year old, driven professional. During the week before Christmas, as the family gathers at her parents home in rural Maine, Becca reveals her decision to tell her 16 year old "niece" that Becca is actually her birth mother. When Becca got pregnant at 16, her parents, grandmother, older brother and sister-in-law arranged a not-quite legal adoption of the baby. It was decided that her brother and sister-in-law would pa
Nov 24, 2012 Stacey rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 05, 2013 CJC rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 23, 2016 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an easy read and enjoyable. It really was like a Hallmark movie. A family reunites for the Christmas holidays at their old Homestead in Maine where the parents still live. During that one week the family secrets, regrets about past and the choices that were made can change the lives of everyone and everything. The story is about life and relationships especially among family members.
Jan 13, 2013 Kristy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for a rainy day, or a cold winter one. I spent a couple of good afternoons on the couch with some tea with this book. I have not read one of Chamberlain's novels before, even though I have a bunch in my bookcase. Becca Rowan is the quintessential workaholic. She has it all on the outside, but on the inside she's screaming. Sixteen years ago she gave birth to a girl and gave her up so that her brother and sister-in-law could raise her in a stable and traditional environment. ...more
Richard Becker
A great story about a family with an explosive secret and the woman who is determined to let the truth come out. To her eventual relief, she is talked into not revealing that her "niece" is her daughter. It ends on a hopeful note, for Becca Rowan, her siblings and a new aquaintance that she falls in love with. This is a special story about family and forgiveness.
Dec 17, 2011 Maggie61 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
Interesting dilemma. If you had a baby at sixteen and gave it up would you rather give it to a stranger and you have no contact and no idea where he/she ended up or have a sibling adopt it and know where he/she is and have a constant reminder and not being able to acknowledge who you are?

16 years after Becca's brother and wife adopted her baby girl, Becca wants it revealed that she is Rain's mother. The whole book primarily takes place during one week in December, the week before Christmas. Seve
Simone Praylow
Mar 22, 2015 Simone Praylow rated it really liked it
I loved this book but I think the family was completely wrong for their position in possibly allowing Rain to never know the truth. Also, Alex was a crashing bore and the "relationship" between he and Becca was completely not believable.
Jan 22, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
This book started out a little slow but it didn't take long before it really took hold of me. It was a great story with a subject you don't often read about. There are a few lessons to be learned here. Trust not only in yourself but especially in others. Lots of self reflection and understanding that what you want is not always what you need. There is a romance between Becca and Alex but that is not central to the story. Becca and her decisions and wants are the main topic. A great read that I w ...more
Jan 10, 2016 Stacy rated it liked it
This book moved way too slowly for me. I also didn't find the love story believable. Probably because it didn't exist until the last 50 pages of the book, and the characters were claiming to be in love after two conversations. I finished it because I felt obligated to, and I felt committed to finding out how things pan out for the family, but I definitely wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.
Jun 15, 2014 Jenni rated it liked it
Liked it enough to keep reading. Very interesting in the shaping of family dynamics. I found myself agreeing with and aligning myself with each of the different characters.
Feb 25, 2012 Colette rated it liked it
"I enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed although I didn't always agree with their point of view and I would have much rather read about the sister Olivia's problem than Becca's. Becca seemed to me to have never grown out of her teen age years. Then in one week everything turns around she grows up and becomes more mature and finds a love interest. It all just seemed to happen to fast. As where Olivia is quickly going off the deep end and I would have liked to have delved deeper i ...more
Candi Berry
Dec 11, 2011 Candi Berry rated it liked it
This was a good book, it dealt a lot with family dynamics over a secret and everyone's reaction when one of the family members involved wants to expose it.

This is my favorite passage:
"It was complicated, this thing called life. People wore masks. One person might harbor various personalities within herself, and might comprise several layers of characters. And because of this, a person might never, ever know for sure if or when she was doing the right thing or the best thing or the smartest thin
Jenn O'Brien
Dec 27, 2011 Jenn O'Brien rated it liked it
I liked that I picked up this book during Christmas week, because that is exactly when it takes place. I read the majority of the book on the plane flight to Denver as I was heading home for Christmas. The beginning of the book got me interested in the story, but then it began to drag a little and I began skimming. A lot of the characters were quick on the draw with their judgement calls, but then it all came together to be drawn up like a bow. Much like the characters comment in the book, it se ...more
Jan 07, 2011 Jessica rated it really liked it
I had very low expectations of this book having found it in the bookstore with no recommendations and not having read any reviews. So maybe that is why it was so wonderful to me. Surprisingly wonderful. It lacked the sentimentality that I expected to make the story flat. Not too Christmas-y, not too sappy, just right. The characters were developed beautifully and plausibly. They felt like a real family. And it was easy to sympathize with each of their plights - even the ones that going into the ...more
Samantha Binkley
one of the best books I've ever read
Jan 01, 2015 Nancy added it
Not my typical style but I enjoyed it and learned quite a lot from it
Tammy Diener
Kinda of slow. I was more interested in the support characters than the main character.
Anita Johnson
Oct 17, 2011 Anita Johnson rated it liked it
This is not your everyday Christmas story. It is more like how the Grinch, named Becca, plotted to steal her family's Christmas joy by reclaiming what was rightfully hers. It has a slow, rather annoying beginning but redeems itself pretty much in the middle and toward the end. I had planned to give it only two stars since it is preachy and predictable but I enjoyed the characters, even the curmudgeons, and found myself smiling a lot through it. That has to be worth an extra star.
Dec 30, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: kobo-e-reader
I loved the family dynamics in this book. This was by no means a perfect family and yet they weren't so dysfunctional as to be unbelievable. Just a normal family dealing with some fairly big issues and at Christmas! The story moved along at a good pace and kept me turning the pages to find out how it would all turn out. Good story....
Feb 13, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it
nice and lite reading
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Holly Chamberlin is a native New Yorker, but she now lives in Portland, Maine - the aftermath of stumbling across Mr. Right at the one moment she wasn't watching the terrain. She's been writing and editing - poetry, children's fantasies, a romance novel or two, among many other genres and projects - her entire life. She has two cats, Betty and Cyrus, and when she's not writing her hobbies include ...more
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