My rating: 2 of 5 stars
At Christmas time, it seems as though a woman's work is never done. Trimming the tree, mailing the cards, schlepping to the mall, the endless wrapping - bah humbug! So this year, Joy and Laura and the rest of their knitting group decide to go on strike. If their husbands and families want a nice holiday filled with parties, decorations, and presents - well, they'll just have to do it themselves.
The boycott soon takes on a life of its own when a reporter picks up the story and more women join in. But as Christmas Day approaches, Joy, Laura, and their husbands confront larger issues in their marriages and discover that a little holiday magic is exactly what they need to come together.
Not the greatest of books for me; it gambled on the fact that the readers really would believe that intelligent men and women could not sort out their differences without resorting to such drastic measures as females going on strike for Christmas until their partners committed to taking an active part in all the preparations and extra work that it presented for the women.
It was extremely predictable although amusing in parts, it did become tedious and I found I really got to the point where I didn't care about the Stitch 'n Bitch knitting club and their crusade to try and get their unappreciative other halves more involved in the festive season. It was so twee, the town called 'Holly' the main characters names 'Joy' and her Scrooge like husband Bob who she refers to as 'Bob Humbug' were all a bit too contrived for me. It could not have possibly been written for the UK market - I can't imagine this situation happening in the UK. I would think if women were foolish enough to think going on strike at Christmas in the UK would have the same effect/happy endings as this American novel had they simply would not be rewarded with partners who 'soldiered on' determined to prove they could cope they'd more than likely be told to stop being so childish and selfish which is what I wanted to tell these silly Stitch 'n Bitch club members.
In the real world these things don't happen and although novels are escapism this really is such a silly nonsense novel that it left me feeling no enjoyment at having read it just annoyance that the writer could think the reader wants or needs so little from a book. Most of the so called conflicts were not conflicts, they would have easily been solved by talking the situation through with their partners. Most men do take situations for granted but are not completely insensitive and once reminded that the partnership is all about sharing and give and take they do come through. Shelia Roberts depiction of the men in the novel was very Victorian and selfish, not complimentary at all and her depiction of women equally fell short of the mark.
Women these days are not long suffering, most of us enjoy the whole Christmas thing and although it is extra work we really wouldn't want our other halves to do it anyway and I'm sure most men are more than happy to help given the chance. The fact is most women would rather their other halves didn't help and the women in this novel really didn't want the men to do it either they just wanted to be given more credit and wanted their husbands to pay more attention to them - a bit shallow really.
As you can see I didn't gel with this book - Shelia Roberts as a writer is better than this let's hope her next one is more worthy of her writing skills.
Sorry only a 2 from me and that was for the rare moments of humour.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.