I love Christmas themed books. Yes, they’re sometimes saccharine, but the holiday, itself, can be that, so why should we expect different from books? I really liked the description on Netgalley, so I was happy when it was provided to me by the publisher. Unfortunately, I only made it to the beginning of Chapter 2 before giving up on it as being completely unbelievable.
Libby Leeds writes a popular column for a food magazine, using memories from her childhood to make her articles stand out from others. She writes about how lucky she is to live on Sanctuary Island, except, she hasn’t lived there since she was 8 years old. No one has ever questioned the veracity of her background, but that all changes when the owner of the magazine she works for tells her that he’s invited a local war-hero and his daughter to have dinner with her and the husband she made up.
Owen Shepard is an injured war hero, who wants to go back to living a normal life with his daughter on Sanctuary Island, but because he’s spent so long in the military he’s not sure how to do that. People all around the country decide to help him out and when he receives an invitation from Libby Leeds, he figures he’s got nothing to lose and decides to go for it.
As I said, I only managed to get to chapter 2 before giving up on this book. You wouldn’t think that would be worth a review, but believe me, it is. My first problem is that Libby literally lives in a dream world, where she’s this happy person living in a small town, where everything is perfect. In reality, she lives in NYC, somewhere along the 7 line, which runs between Manhattan and Queens. We know this because she mentions living close enough to hear the train rumble along the tracks. She obviously does not like living in the city, but for some reason that’s where she chooses to stay. I imagine she’s got a work-from-home job (the type that isn’t a scam), so she could probably live anywhere she wanted to, but she chooses to stay somewhere she isn’t happy.
My next issue is that Libby seems like a stalker, watching news footage of an interview with Owen over and over again. Reading this scene made me think of Kathy Bates in Misery. We all have celebrity crushes, but the way hers is presented is a little much. I can almost see her following him around and rummaging in his garbage for something with his DNA on it, so she could find someone to clone him for her. It way extremely creepy.
Last, there is the fact that sentences after Libby is salivating over Owen, he’s delivered to her on a silver platter. Man, she’s good. I wonder if I watched clips of The Voice and the video for Sugar over and over again, if someone will deliver Adam Levine to my doorstep, divorce from his wife in hand, wanting to take me away for a magical week together. Probably not.
Home for Christmas is available for pre-order and will be released on October 6th.