Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Christmas Wedding-James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

The Christmas Wedding

James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

Little, Brown, Oct 17 2011, $25.99

ISBN: 9780316097390

Fiftyish widow schoolteacher Gaby Summerhill's husband died three years ago. Since the family patriarch’s death, Gaby’s adult children drifted apart while she ate her way through her grief. The thinner Gaby sends a DVD to her four adult children, inviting them, their spouses and her grandchildren to spend Christmas in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and attend her wedding. She coyly refuses to name the groom as three men her age (childhood friend Tom Hayden, Rabbi Jacob Coleman and brother-in-law Martin Summerhill) want to marry her. The four children want to come to Stockbridge, which will be the first time they will be together since they buried their dad.

In Myrtle Beach, thirty-five year old Claire lives with her pot head abusive slacker husband Hank, their chip off his stoned dad’s marihuana teenage son Gus and their tweener twins (Toby and Gabriele) Thirty-four year old Lizzie lives near her mom, but is struggling with her husband Mike's illness while raising their young daughter Tallulah. Twenty-nine years old Manhattan attorney Emily is burned out from over work while her spouse Bart is a neurology resident. Finally the only male offspring twenty-six years old wannabe author Seth lives in Boston with his girlfriend commercial artist Andie.

The Christmas Wedding is an entertaining family affair as the extended Summerhill clan struggle with a myriad of tsuris. The story line is faster than a sleigh going downhill in the snowy Bronx. However, none of the ensemble cast is fully developed as James Patterson and Richard DiLallo never provide much background to what led the quintet and their retinue to where they are. Still this is a fun holiday tale as Gaby Summerhill invites readers to the wedding of the year.

Harriet Klausner

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