Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Book Blog Tour of Sandra Harper's Over The Holidays
"It was only December first but Vanessa Channing felt like it had been Christmas forever..." So begins Sandra Harper's latest fun and light holiday read full of family drama.
Vanessa Clayton,her gaffer husband JT, and the young twins, Ethan and Alex, usually spend the holidays in New England with her sister-in-law, but the tough economic times give her the excuse to celebrate at home in Los Angeles. Vanessa is far from a domestic goddess - her own family tradition is "store bought," her young boys are a handful, and her writing job is keeping her crazy busy. Vanessa's sister Thea has a very different life. An artist and single, Thea's life centers around her art. Her latest project involves compiling holiday memories and this starts her reminiscing about Cal, her boyfriend from fifteen years ago. Though Thea's reasonably happy with her gorgeous young lover, once Thea starts thinking about what may have been with Cal, Thea can't resist hunting him down.
Patience Clayton's life appears to be the opposite of that of her sister-in-law Vanessa Clayton. Patience lives for the holidays and devotes herself to maintaining their family's traditions from the cranberry tarts to the carefully orchestrated themed Open House on Christmas Eve. When her sister-in-law declines the annual invitation to a New England Christmas, Patience decides to bring her husband Richard and their teenage daughter Libby to Los Angeles in the hope that this will bring the family closer together. But with Libby acting curt and cold and Vanessa's ill disguised irritation, this is shaping up to be Patience's worst holiday ever.
I found Over the Holidays to be a light and engaging read. I would occasionally find Vanessa to be self centered and irritating and would sympathize with Patience - Vanessa's zingers would make me cringe. On the other hand, I suspect that many readers would be more inclined to regard Patience's insistence on doing things "right" annoying and identify with the younger, more creative Vanessa. Regardless of whether you prefer Vanessa to Patience, I believe that most readers would find both of them sympathetic. If you're looking for a fun book to read for the holidays and have a taste for chicklit or mommylit, you may well enjoy Over the Holidays.
Publisher: Pocket (October 6, 2009), 336 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
About the Author,courtesy of the publisher:
Sandra Harper is the author of the play, Magpie's Tea Room, which enjoyed a successful run in Los Angeles at The Ventura Court Theatre. She has written a cooking column, "The California Cook" for the newspaper, Skirt. A script reader for Pathe Studios and Springcreek Productions, she also wrote and produced fashion and rock videos for Elvis Costello, Chaka Khan and Vidal Sassoon, amonf others. Ms. Harper recieved her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Southern California and has completed a children's book, The Witches Club.
Thanks so much for the book tour opportunity, Sarah and Pocket Books!