October 6, 2020
Blurb: For sisters Samantha and Ella Mitchell, Christmas is their most precious time of the year. But this year, they’ll be buying presents for the most unexpected guest of all—their mother. It’s been five years since they last saw each other. But when their mom calls out of the blue, Samantha and Ella cautiously agree to spend Christmas all together in the beautiful Scottish Highlands…
Gayle Mitchell is at the top of her career, but her success has come at a price—her relationship with her daughters. Her tough-love approach to parenting was designed to make them stronger, but instead managed to push them away…until a brush with her own mortality forces Gayle to make amends.
As the snowflakes fall on their first family celebration in years, the Mitchell women must learn that sometimes facing up to the past is all you need to heal your heart…
This is going to be a review in which I feel like I’m floundering around. Typically I love Sarah Morgan books. She has a great sense of humor, her writing is stellar, and her characters come alive on the page. The last two are definitely true in One More for Christmas, but the humor seems missing–although I do have to say that her characters treat situations, mostly, with good humor.
It took me thirteen days to get through this book, which, as a book blogger, is a real set-back. The first few chapters I sailed through and then something went flat and I felt reluctant to return. Two days ago I pinpointed what the issue was for me. The book is excessively “talkie”–at least for me. 400-plus pages of characters talking about their feelings, their pasts, all the things they’ve done wrong. Perhaps I’m just in the wrong mindset to read this. Please don’t get me wrong. The writing and the dialogue were great, for the most part. But I felt mentally fatigued slogging through all the talk.
The beginning starts with a bang almost literally as self-help guru Gayle Mitchell, a best-selling author, clonks herself on the head with one of her awards and is only semi-conscious as her colleagues discuss what a single-minded, unpleasant individual she is. Ah, shades of Scrooge.
Gayle, realizing what people think of her, reevaluates her life and decides that she must reconcile with her daughters before it’s too late. So she begs to spend Christmas with them, although a Christmas from the past left a foul taste in her mouth and left her without any Christmas spirit.
As I write this another thing that probably didn’t help One More for Christmas is the number of different POVs. Now, I steadfastly used to hate books that had more than two POVs, but, you know, when you read and review as much as I do, sometimes you change your mind. Here, however, I felt that the number of different POVs diluted the message as well as diluted characterization. You would think it would help, but sometimes it just emphasizes the fact that Ella and Kristie were given POV chapters and yet we really came away not knowing them as well as we should for characters who were supposedly significant enough to have their own POV chapters. And, Ella’s husband Michael just seems to be on the trip to Scotland in name only since he rarely makes an appearance.
Unfortunately, all of the POV bouncing also means that we don’t really come to know the characters as well as we could/should. If the story had a more limited number of POVs, perhaps just Gayle’s and Samantha’s, I think I would have enjoyed it more. These two were the more dynamic and interesting characters.
This very well could be a your-mileage-may-vary (YMMV) novel. I wanted to love it but just didn’t despite the heart-warming and heart-felt message. I do believe that sometimes we’re not in the right frame of mind to read certain novels and respond to them in the way we normally would. This can be especially true when you need to read and get a review done in a timely manner. Honestly, One More for Christmas is still better than most other Christmas romances out there; it just didn’t fit my expectations for a Sarah Morgan novel.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3 out of 5 butterflies