Anyone ever feel like clocking a character? The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson/Richard DiLallo

Christmas is in the air, and along with the smells of gingerbread, pine, and holly, there also seems to be something else… a feeling of…


Gaby Summerhill is filled with a sense of something big is about to happen and through a series of videos to her grown children, 54-year-old Gaby shares a special message:

She is getting married.

Yes, Gaby, widowed for three years now,  is asking all her children to come back home to where they had all their family memories and join her as she marries….

well.. that’s the fun isn’t it?

Three men have asked for Gaby’s hand and she is thrilled with the asking, but nobody, including the groom himself knows who will be Gaby’s husband until the wedding on Christmas.

Gaby feels that by generating this excitement it will create an atmosphere worthy of coming home too, and that is what she wants most of all… her grown children, busy with their own lives and the chaos within, have grown apart from what Gaby knew was once a tight knit family.  Perhaps they will come to be together for Christmas… for a wedding…


Hmph.  Every December our book club (yay Bookies!) chose a Christmas style read for our December gathering.  In past posts I have mentioned that I find these books almost impossible as they are usually too light and perfectly (gag me) fluffy to get a real good read out of them. 

I really thought we were going to be safe with Patterson. 

Personally, I liked Gaby’s grown kids… each dip we had into their lives made me wanting to know more, Claire and her abusive drug addicted husband and troubled teen son Gus, Emily the lawyer go getter who runs from one project to another and has an adoring handsome doctor husband, Lizzie who’s husband Mike is a sweetheart who also has cancer, and son Seth who is a writer and lives his wonderful girlfriend Andie.  Each of their stories could have been a book in itself…

But no, the story was about Gaby who had three men on the hook and thought it to be fabulous.  My thoughts and the thoughts of the majority of the Bookies was what a selfish woman.  Gaby was a little too self-centered for my liking.  While the book was meant to be a sweet Christmas read of family coming home, I never got the sense that coming home was hard on anyone.  There was no conflict between the siblings or Gaby that made the pull of the mystery wedding a necessity.  I got the feeling that they would have come home for Gaby’s if she was mailing the mailman while standing in the front yard (and seriously, I am surprised he also was not a contender…. 😛

Over all the book read like a rush.  It felt hurried and pieced together, a dabble into this life, a dabble into that.  In the end, while I have to admit it was a lot better than some of our Christmas reads we have had in the past, it was not  a book I would recommend to others.

*To give you my true feelings… I actually went to Wal-Mart looking for a pinata that could represent Gaby… I thought it would be fun to smack “her” with a stick.  Lucky for her, I could not find one that fit the character – however I do reserve to hold on to the pinata plan for a future read.  😛

Overall the Bookies rated this on a scale of 1 -5, a 2.8.  Most of the ratings were low but a couple hit middle 3’s and we agreed that as a Christmas read – we have read a lot worse.

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been updated to include The Christmas Wedding

I purchased this book from

30 thoughts on “Anyone ever feel like clocking a character? The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson/Richard DiLallo

  1. Paterson doesn’t usually get my attention, I’m not even sure if I have read any of his. I usually like Christmas reads though, especially shorter ones that belong to a series. Debbie Macomber’s usually hit the spot for me.

  2. I think Patterson should probably stick to his suspense thrillers…at least he writes most of them. The romantic forays are usually with a co-author.

    I’ve wanted to clock characters before, but usually they’re some clueless guy who is treating the wife badly.

    If I think about it, though, I’m sure I could come up with several selfish women characters, too.

  3. The first 24 chapters were released as a free kindle read. After reading those, I thought I might like to read the whole thing but after reading your review I’m wondering if I want to buy it. Maybe I’ll see if my library has it but then again, I have so many books to read for fun or challenges that I already own, I may not.

    Maybe a $2 friends of the library sale?

    Thank you, lives too short to read books where it’s the MAIN character that you want to smack around.

    I purchased a “first in a series” cozy that was crafty. She crochets, I crochet, should have been fabulous….didn’t even make to the 50 page mark! Luckily I was able to return it.

    1. Gina my book club never buys hard covers as a group read and this time we did… on the average we paid around $15 for this book and sadly it was not worth it.

      It would be fine to pick up on a library sale – the kids story lines I found interesting.

  4. None of the three men know who will be the groom until the wedding day? Seriously? Where the hell do these characters live that they don’t need the proverbial red tape to get married? This implausibility would turn me right off at the get-go. I love your pinata idea; there are lots of characters I’ve come across who needed a “dummy slap”.

  5. I actually love Christmas books, but the premise of this one sounds…yuck! I was wondering about it, but now I think I will pass on it. I’m reading one you might like. I was really surprised because it’s more different than any Christmas book I’ve read. It’s called The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. You might want to check it out.

  6. I agree with you. I wanted a light-hearted christmas story to get me relaxed and in the spirit. It looked like a good read and it had been getting good reviews. However, I can’t imagine a woman holding all of the cards like that and nobody getting hurt! Those three poor men – and no bitterness. Yes, I thought her children were interesting, although they were a little hard to keep track of sometimes.

  7. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this. I thought it was fun and light. I can see your point of Gaby being self centered but I read in her personality that she also cared for others (food barn) and her children (raised confidently). I viewed this as a particular time that she was more self centered – which isn’t surprising for someone in love and planning a wedding.
    It’s always fun to share reading thoughts on the same book with friends.

  8. I could not agree more! It was our book club choice for December. We meet tomorrow and I’m anxious to see what others thought of it. It was a simple book and sometimes simple can be good–not in this case. I did not care for Gaby AT ALL. I thought the book was a waste of my time. Thankfully it was not a long read. I’m sure, however, it will be turned into a movie. Count me out!

  9. I’m very curious as to what we will be discussing about The Christmas Wedding. There did not seem to be any thought-provoking moments. And as far as what I said about a movie, I must amend my statement that you can count me out — should Colin Firth somehow find his way into the movie, count me in!

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