Mur Lafferty's Reviews > Trading Christmas: Trading Christmas\The Forgetful Bride

Trading Christmas by Debbie Macomber
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's review
Nov 06, 11

bookshelves: audio, 2011-books
Read in November, 2011

I'm not going to regurgitate the plot; the description and the other reviews do that just fine. I had low expectations on this book- my experience with Christmas fiction is pretty spotty. It started out fine; the character quirks were amusing, but after a little while it started to grate on me.

Things I learned from this book:

1) The way to a man's heart is to cook for him. They lose all rational thought when you cook for them.

2) Boys in school = good, non-educated Harley riders = bad. (Also, people your mother approves of = good.) (Also beer=bad, wine=good.)

3) The characters all seemed a lot older than described. Emily was traditional, diminutive, and acted like a widow of 65, not 40. Faith acted like an old divorced woman with no hope for love or children- at 30. The characters were also cookie-cutter types, especially Charles and his mother.

4) When you leave a chapter at a cliffhanger, "OMG the overbearing mother has arrived to find us giggling and cooking together like a couple!" when you next return to their story, it's OK to skip over the very interesting action that would have happened, have the characters breathe a sigh of relief after mother has gone, and then just have them tell what happened in brief exposition. Exposition is ALWAYS more exciting than action.

5) I'm learning that soft, easy Christmas stories like to do the opposite of other plots: the scary, tense, exciting part (the climax) is at the beginning - oh noes, we are all displaced without loved ones, and in some cases forced to be with people we would rather not be with! - and then things just gently get better and better with no real threat to happiness once it is established. I kept waiting for the "Boy loses girl" part of the story to come, and it was never even threatened.

Vastly disappointing.


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