01 November 2013

Blog Tour: A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer


Stops on the Tour

November 1st    My Home of Books
November 2nd  A Book Addict's Musings
November 3rd  Melina's Book Blog
November 6th  My Recent Favorite Books
November 7th   Griperangs Bookmarks
November 8th  The Book Bag

Review

Publisher: Ballantine Books through Random House
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
List Price:  $18.00 Hardback
                $ 7.99  Digital Edition
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Chick-Lit
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

 This book was provided by the author in exchange for a review. 

The Season is upon us.  No, I don't mean the Christmas season, I am talking about the "holiday book season".  You know, that time of year when authors entice us with stories stories built on and around Thanksgiving and, especially, Christmas.  This trend seems to be especially prevalent in the Chick-Lit genre.  Many of my reading friends look forward to this time of year when they can count on their favorite authors to put out new holiday stories that they can immerse themselves in.  It is a tradition that, for some readers, is as important in marking the holidays as decorating the tree and singing carols.  As the slew of Christmas books come out to celebrate the season, it can be hard sometimes to decided which ones to read and which ones to skip.  I have read, and reviewed several lately that are worthy of the Christmas read.  For me, the best of the bunch so far is A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer.  

A Nantucket Christmas takes place, as you can guess, on Nantucket Island.  Retired nurse Nicole and her new husband, Sebastian are two people who met later in life and fell in love.  Their Christmas plans include a visit from Sebastian's adult daughter, Kennedy, her husband, and their three-year old son Maddox.  To call Kennedy and adult, though, is using the term loosely.  Kennedy is spoiled, rich, self-centered, and, to top it all off, 8 months pregnant.  You can probably guess that combination is not one that bodes well for a festive, fun Christmas, especially since Kennedy views her step-mother as an interloper.  

Thus the stage is set for this "slice of life" story about the forging of new family bonds.   The biggest problem with "slice of life" stories is that they can be both lacking in conflict and somewhat formulaic. Especially in one that has only 145 pages.   In the case of this story, though, there was plenty of conflict to go around between  Kennedy and her step-mother and Sebastian and his ex-wife too name a few. And while the story was a bit formulaic, I felt the writing was good enough to overcome that aspect.  Besides, most of the reason we read these stories is because we know where they are going and we like where that is, right? 

In addition, this book was filled with interesting characters.  First and foremost, there was Kennedy.  Some may say that no adult woman, especially one with a child, could be so self involved.  To me that was the fun of her character.  I could safely dislike her, roll my eyes at her when she was at her worst, and yet, I could also sympathize with her a bit.  Nicole was also a great character and I loved the way that the author used her to highlight both the stress inherent in the season, and the stress inherent in the situation.  I also liked Maddox and particularly enjoyed his three-year-old antics.  Perhaps my favorite, though, was Snix/Pooh, the dog.  While by no means a major character, I enjoyed reading about his life and seeing things through his eyes.  

 Since so many of the Christmas stories out there center around romances (which I enjoy), I found the focus on the family in this book to be a welcome change.  In addition, at just 145 pages it was a quick read and I would recommend it for those of us who like the holiday story genre.