Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Comfort & Joy and A Darcy Christmas

"Comfort & Joy" is my first Kristin Hannah book. I picked it up at a garage sale this summer and saved it for December.
"Comfort & Joy" follows Joy Candellaro, who is facing her first Christmas as a divorced woman. Even worse, the other woman in her husband's life is her own sister. When Joy's sister turns up on her driveway to give her a wedding invitation, she panics and takes off to the airport, where she buys a ticket to a place called "Hope." The plane doesn't quite make it, and she ends up at a place called the Comfort Lodge with a man named Daniel and his son, Bobby.
I knew pretty early on that not everything was as it seemed. The scenes at the Comfort Lodge seemed very dream-like and, given the "twist," I think Hannah did a very good job there. "Comfort & Joy" didn't blow me away. It's a nice story, set at Christmas, and it has a happy ending. That's pretty much all there is to say for it. I'm not sure if I'll read more from Kristin Hannah, but I'm not sorry I read "Comfort & Joy."

Before I picked up "Comfort & Joy," I tried to read "A Darcy Christmas." It was free for Nook a couple of weeks ago on Free Friday, and I was very excited to not only get a Jane Austen-inspired but a Christmas book! And the the cover was so lovely. It's actually three novellas written by three different authors, and as it turned out, I could only get through one of the stories. The first, "Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol," was basically just a retelling of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," with Mr. Darcy replacing Ebenezer Scrooge. Boring! I plan to do my annual reading of "A Christmas Carol" yet this month, and would much prefer to read the original. The second story, "Christmas Present," was much better. It is a sweet little story, written by Amanda Grange. I thought Grange did a good job of capturing Jane Austen's voice, and I enjoyed the story. The third novella is "A Darcy Christmas." After reading "Christmas Present," this felt like it really missed the mark. It didn't feel Austenesque at all. The prose was far too modern. Needless to say, I did not finish it.

I'm also reading "The Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd (I got an advance copy from Net Galley), and I plan to stop at the library today to pick up "The Christmas Train" by David Baldacci. I'm not usually so obsessed with Christmas books this time of year, but this year I am! I got approved for "The Christmas Train" on Net Galley, but when I tried to download it, it said that it had already been archived and I can't. Boo. All is not lost, however, since I discovered it's not a new book and in fact my library has it!

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