The Christmas Women by Elyse Douglas (Review)

Fiction/Romance – The Christmas Women

The Christmas Women

When 38-year old Trudie Parks learns that her high school drama teacher is seriously ill, she immediately contacts her two best friends in high school, Kristen and Mary Ann. Together, they’d been known as “The Christmas Girls.” They’d produced and starred in the annual high school Christmas show, which their teacher, Mrs. Childs, had directed.

Determined to show their love for Mrs. Childs, they plan a 20-year reunion to recreate the Christmas show for her. What they don’t anticipate is the complicated emotions this provokes, as former sweethearts appear and rekindle romance, painful memories and the sting of unrealized dreams. All three women must reassess their lives and their friendships, while struggling to produce the show, even while Mrs. Childs seems to grow weaker by the day.

As Christmas Eve approaches, The Christmas Women prepare for an event that will take them and the audience to the farthest reaches of the human heart and resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Astrologer’s Daughter,” “Wanting Rita,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Christmas Town.” They live in New York City.

My Review –

As I read the author’s biography, I was surprised to read that Elyse Douglas is actually a husband/wife writing team. I had already written the review in my head, but when I read this, my thoughts started to wander and I began thinking of the story in an entirely different way.

Throughout the story, which involves a Christmas high school reunion, there is the usual high school drama that seems to unfold no matter how old we get. I tend to think it quite easy to picture a woman writing about all of the melodrama, but now, thinking of a man collaborating on it, the story takes on a different spin.

I enjoyed reading The Christmas Women. The storyline was interesting and the writing was good. There was friendship and romance, humor and otherwise. The story will have you laughing and then crying. Even though the Christmas season has passed, it would still be a great book to read.

I am giving The Christmas Women five stars.

 

Back in the kitchen, she laid the yearbook down before her. She spooned her oatmeal and stared at the yearbook. She sipped coffee, staring at it. She made a steeple of her hands, staring at it. She hadn’t looked through it in years. The group photos and senior portraits always provoked both fondness and an aching regret. Some of her classmates had already died. Some had seemed to vanish. Most had moved away after college. Like a lot of Midwestern towns. Deer Lake had suffered manufacturing losses and most of the young people had fled to the cities for better opportunities.

 
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