Publication Date: September 1, 2009
In [easyazon_link identifier=”1426700709″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]One Imperfect Christmas[/easyazon_link] Natalie Pearce has been living with an all-consuming guilt of not having been there for her mother when she suffered a stroke. With her mother in a nursing home with no signs of leaving, Natalie’s family connections seem to drift further apart and her marriage is on the brink of dissolution. Daniel Pearce doesn’t know how he can help his wife and their daughter has been unmanageably rebellious. Is there any saving this family?
There are people consumed by family angst. They are wholly invested in a sense of “what if?” The live in a vortex of pain where their soul is imbued by one event that haunts them every day and leaves them with a sense of “what was my purpose if not to prevent this horrible thing?” Natalie is one such soul. That she is being self-aggrandizing in her grief, escapes her. Natalie’s self-absorbed grief is immediately evident to the reader. While there is no doubt that Natalie loves her mother (as much as she can care about anyone but herself), there is doubt that her inner pummelings have anything to do with the woman that suffered a medical emergency and faces a long recovery, potentially, causing her family to miss the goal of “50 Perfect Christmases.” If the author intended to paint her main character as a toxic personality in need of a great deal of professional help, [easyazon_link identifier=”1426700709″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]One Imperfect Christmas[/easyazon_link] is a roaring success.
While Natalie makes autonomous decisions without the input of her family, her beleaguered husband steps into the role of a man who wants his partner back. As a reader, I had to question why anyone would want to spend time with such a horrible human being, let alone be besotted with her! Their daughter was probably the best character, as she recognizes how horrible her mother is and tries to sabotage her life. If a character isn’t growing, there should at least be some behavior for which the reader can cheer. Okay, outside of fiction, the daughter is horrible, a terror and truly at risk.[easyazon_link identifier=”1426700709″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]One Imperfect Christmas[/easyazon_link] was very slow moving and not especially well crafted. I will admit to a feeling of dread when I saw that the book was Christian fiction. There wasn’t really much of a Christian feel and by then, I had not enjoyed the novel for other reasons, so I didn’t mind skimming through Bible verses and shout-outs to the Almighty.
If you like angst and extremely soapy drama, [easyazon_link identifier=”1426700709″ locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]One Imperfect Christmas[/easyazon_link] is probably going to be a fit for you. I found it depressing, hard to stick with, and populated with generally annoying characters. I once burned a book in the sink because I was so annoyed at the main character’s lack of progression and “An Imperfect Christmas” could fit nicely next to that novel though, sadly, its on an electronic device.
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