I found The Christmas Cookie Club a nice enough book, but I never really got into it.
Summary from Simon and Schuster:
Every year at Christmastime, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dessert and a bottle of wine, but this year, it’s their stories that are especially important. Marnie’s oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Jeannie’s father is having an affair with her best friend. Taylor’s life is in financial freefall. Rosie’s husband doesn’t want children, and she has to decide, very soon, the fate of her marriage.
On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it’s anything, is a reminder of delight.
I liked the characters and the overall setup of the book. In each chapter, a character shared her cookies and a story related to them, and Marnie filled in with her memories of that person. The characters were well thought out, with clear strengths and weaknesses, and compelling stories.
All of these stories never quite came together for me as a whole. I didn’t feel compelled to continue picking up the book to continue reading, even as I made my way through multiple audiobooks as well as another book on my Nook.
Maybe it was a little too much drama, spread among too many character in such a short book. All I knew of each character was her problems, which took up far more space than the love and support of the party. I didn’t get sucked into any of the drama, since I didn’t know the characters well enough, so I didn’t find it depressing, it just enough to distance me from the book a bit.
Between each chapter, there was a short essay on one of the cookie ingredients. While these were interesting, they interrupted the flow of the book for me in a way the recipes didn’t.
Two or three of the stories, looked at in more depth, could have made a compelling book. Overall I enjoyed the book, but it didn’t compel me to keep reading during a very busy time of year.