"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One Week in December by Holly Chamberlin

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Summary: A woman who gave up her daughter to be adopted by her brother wants to expose the truth in front of her family and her child. 

One of the reasons why we chose international adoption is because we didn’t want our child’s birth mother to ever change her mind, and re-claim our child. So I started this book with a bit of anxiety. Could I really be sympathetic to a woman who gives up her child and then wants her back?  Turns out, no. But maybe that's because this was a poor book.

Becca drives up to her parents one Christmas with the intention of telling Rain, her teenage niece, the truth – that Becca is actually her mother and that Becca’s brother and his wife, who raised Rain as their own and never told her she was adopted, are Rain’s actual uncle and aunt. Becca is cold, detached and selfish, and while this book was a great study in family dynamics, having the main character be so unlikable is an interesting literary device.

Turns out all uptight Becca needs is some sex and romance, right? So the author throws in a sexy neighbor, who happens to be an artist and who challenges Becca’s reserve.

Becca’s little sister Lily and older sister Olivia were far more interesting characters. Lily is suffering a bad break-up but realizes the guy was a jerk and Olivia suffers from infertility, so much so that her marriage is in trouble.

I had such high hopes for this book, but in the end, it was only okay. 

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