Strike 2. After finishing Call Me Mrs. Miracle, I decided to give another Macomber Christmas book a chance, figuring that the problems I had with CMMM came from the fact that I had seen the movie version a couple of times and really liked it.
I tried to like The Perfect Christmas, I really did. It is the story of Cassie, a thirty-something, who wants nothing more than to have the perfect husband, the perfect family, and the perfect Christmas. Of course, the joke is supposed to be that there is no such thing as the perfect anything. I think that this was supposed to make Cassie likable, but it did not work for me at all. Everything I learned about Cassie made me like her less and less.
First, there is the fact that she is willing to spend $30,000 on a Matchmaker. $30,000 in a bad economy when job loss is right around the corner. This made me think Cassie was stupid beyond belief. How can anyone believe that $30k is a good price to pay for anything short of a car–and a luxury car at that? It was sickening.
Next, there is her cavalier attitude towards her neighbors, all of whom seemed to be elderly. It seemed to me that these people existed purely to annoy Cassie. Obviously, they were meant to make her realize that she wasn’t a good person and were supposed to be a catalyst to change, but seeing her the way she is at the beginning of the book made me not want to stick around to see that change. For instance, there is the little old lady that steals Cassie’s newspaper every Tuesday, cuts out all the coupons, and returns the paper the next day. Not once does she wonder why her neighbor is doing this. Her reaction was all about how it inconvenienced her. She didn’t wonder if maybe this little old lady, who was probably living off of her Social Security Checks, didn’t have enough money to (1) buy a paper of her own or (2) afford food without extra coupons. Then, there is the elderly man, who lets the elevator door close whenever he sees her coming, even if she calls out for him to hold the door. In Cassie’s mind, this man is nothing more than a sociopath, feeling joy knowing that he had power over her. She never stopped to think that maybe this little old man couldn’t hear her call out to him. Maybe he was deaf or close to it. Finally, there is the person that plays loud rap music in the apartment next to her. She doesn’t even know this neighbor’s name, but she’s more than willing to pound on the wall until this mystery person lowers the music. How rude is that? Couldn’t she just knock on her neighbor’s door, introduce herself, and explain that she did not want to hear their music?
My biggest issue with this book is that its underlying theme is that a woman cannot be happy/complete unless she is married. The only reason anyone would be willing to spend $30k on a matchmaker is that she believed that the only way she could ever possibly be happy is if she had a husband. I kept getting the feeling that this book had to be a reissue, maybe from the 80s or early 90s when this type of thing might have been somewhat acceptable, but according to amazon this book was written recently and was not a reissue of an older book.
Until this book, I had never read a single Macomber title that I did not like at all. Even Call Me Mrs. Miracle with its change for change’s sake was charming in its own way. This book, however, was a hot mess.
DNF, No stars.