I’m not sure why I don’t read more of James Patterson’s books. Every time I have, I have really enjoyed them. The last book I read of his was The Shadow. I read it back in May and reviewed it here:
I had seen a Facebook post from Patterson talking about this book, and a friend actually had just finished it. She loved it and loaned it to me. Much like The Shadow, it didn’t take me long to finish it. It was a fast paced book that required very little thinking. It was a simple story that got crazier as it went on and was a nice feel good story at the end.
I enjoyed it a lot, but in preparation for this blog, I searched for other reviews. I found that people either loved it or hated it. The first page introduces you to the Sullivan family. It also let’s you know right from the start that the matriarch of the family has died. Perhaps this is why so many people hated it, I’m not sure.
One of the advertisements for the book reads: “Move over, Dickens—America’s favorite storyteller has written a modern Christmas story for the ages.” This is obviously a reference to his classic, A Christmas Carol. To be fair, the first words of Dickens’ story are, “Marley was dead, to being with.” He then goes on to explain how important that is to the story. In the same way, the death mentioned at the start of Patterson’s book is also important to THIS story. Because of her passing, Christmas doesn’t happen anymore at the Sullivan house.
The synopsis from Goodreads states:
Every year at Christmastime, Will and Ella Sullivan, and their father, Henry, come to a family agreement: Christmas is a holiday for other people.
At their brownstone in Harlem, stockings go unstuffed, tinsel unstrewn, gifts unbought, mistletoe unhung, chestnuts unroasted, carols unplayed, cookies uncooked, a tree un-visible, and guests uninvited.
Until guests start arriving anyway. In pairs and sixes, in sevens and tens—they keep coming. And they stay. For twelve long, hard, topsy-turvy, very messy days. That’s when the Sullivans discover that those moments in life that defy hope, expectation, or even imagination, might be the best gifts of all.
In a bit of holiday magic, Christmas invites itself to their home. If you remember the song “The 12 Days of Christmas,” then you already know what to expect over the 12 days. With Day 1, the arrival of a partridge in a pear tree starts the ball rolling. You can only imagine the chaos that each gift brings!
There were times that I laughed out loud, times that I was almost brought to tears, and times I was crying from laughing so hard. I tried to explain the plot to my wife and she said, “It sounds like a Hallmark Movie!” I wouldn’t go that far, as those stories are more of a romance based plot that all their movies follow. To a point, there is a romantic factor to it, as the Sullivan kids think that if they can find a woman on a dating site for their dad, Christmas will return to their house. However, there is really no “love” story, other than the love of family.
It was an easy read. The whole time I was reading it, I could see it easily being a Christmas movie. I don’t think that there was a sexual situation or profane word in it. It was a fun story that I can easily see myself reading every Christmas. I enjoyed it and I think you will, too.
If you still have your Christmas tree up, get it at your local library or off Amazon. Turn the Christmas lights on, get a fire going in the fireplace, grab a blanket and curl up on the couch and enjoy this fun holiday story.
4 thoughts on “Post-Holiday Holiday Reading”
I’ve never read his books, but have heard wonderful things about them. sounds like a good recommendation –
A lot of them are thrillers, mysteries, etc… This one is just a fun quick read.
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I just finished ‘Run Rose Run’ which he wrote with Dolly Parton; will probably put a review of it up on my Everydave page soon. It was good too – good premise, and although there are a few things that could be critiqued about it, it was a long novel that I wanted to keep reading and finished rather quickly. One of his tricks is those short chapters I think . I also read his autobiography last year, liked that & found him an interesting character , I’d heard of him plenty but not read any of his stuff before that.
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I saw that one in the store. I know he does a lot of collaborations. The book he helped Bill Clinton write was actually not bad either. I do want to read his autobiography.