Okay, LISTEN. This review is about two weeks late. Why? Because of life! Because I’m not able to prioritize reading these days, even though I’d like to. Because this one was kind of difficult for me to get into, so I ended up binging some stuff on Netflix instead. All sorts of bullshit reasons, really! So my apologies to the very wonderful marketing people at Harlequin, and I will keep reading and reviewing your wonderful books… hopefully when my life is a little slower? Maybe? Anyway! You didn’t come here for my excuses, so here’s the for realsies content, mmkay?
In A Wedding in December, three women in the same family tell the stories of their complicated lives and how they intersect and diverge from their loved ones in the span of about a month. Maggie, the matriarch, is in the middle of divorcing her husband of thirty years… but they haven’t told their daughters yet. Maggie wants to keep it from them for as long as possible, because she’s ashamed that she couldn’t make her marriage work and she only wants what’s best for her family. She’s sad, and she feels like no one truly knows her. But when she ends up spending Christmas far from her home in England on a beautiful mountain in Aspen, Colorado, she finds that maybe her marriage isn’t so doomed after all.
Rosie is twenty-two and newly in America for a PhD program in fairy tales – not literally, the program is in Celtic folklore and mythology, but that’s pretty much what she studies at Harvard. She met Dan at the gym while trying to get in better shape to control her terrible asthma, and they fell in love immediately in a whirlwind. Dan proposed at Thanksgiving, and the wedding is planned for Christmas Eve in his hometown of Aspen, Colorado, on the property that his family has owned for years. Rosie is over the moon, but also terrified that everything is moving so quickly. She reassures herself, because her parents (her mom is Maggie!) met and married in a whirlwind, and they’re the happiest they’ve ever been! She never speaks a word of her doubts to Dan… which comes back to bite her in the end when the truth starts to come out.
Katie, Rosie’s older sister, is an Emergency Room doctor who has seen a lot and never made time for herself. A traumatic experience with a patient in October left her shaken and questioning if she really wants to be a doctor for the rest of her life, and when she learns that her sister is getting married in a rush, she puts all of her energy into stopping the wedding rather than supporting her sister and trying to work through her own issues. Rather than stopping her sister’s wedding, she gets blindsided by Dan’s surly, thoughtful best man, and suddenly everything starts to fall into place for her.
I promise these storylines make a lot more sense when Sarah Morgan writes them over me!
3 Things I Loved
- Katie. Look. I’m an older sister. I totally understand Katie’s nature, and if my sister were to call me on Thanksgiving and tell me she was getting married in a foreign country on Christmas Eve, I’d probably freak out a little too. So yeah, Katie was my fave. I lived for her chapters. And I’ve also been in the place where the thing I’m good at isn’t my love, and that’s a really hard thing to reckon with. But anyway, team Katie.
- Maggie. I’m listing Maggie second here because, even though I’m not a mom, I felt the depths of Maggie’s pain and confusion. I’m recently divorced. I know what it’s like to grow apart from the person who was supposed to be your life, your world. I know what that feels like, and let me tell you, it sucks. Maggie’s story has a happy ending, and I was happy to read it.
- Rosie (and Dan, and the setting!). I’m putting all of this together because it’s Rosie’s wedding to Dan that brings them all to Aspen in the first place. Oh, it’s all so romantic, and Dan is a super great love interest, and Rosie is relatable and young and fun.
Basically, the main characters in this book were complex and funny and frustrating and they were lovely.
THERE ARE ONLY WHIIIIIIIIIIIITE PEOPLE IN THIS BOOOOOOOOOK. Straight white people, to be exact. Ugh.
I think I’m just constantly surprised that so many people believe that white people only encounter other white people. I mean, the rich mountain towns in Colorado… yeah, okay, it’s probably mostly white people. But you could TRY. Authors. Come on. The default shouldn’t just be all white people. D I V E R S I F Y.
And for goodness sake, I guarantee that more people are gay that you even know, so throw some into your books. You know how they say that life imitates art?
Art should imitate life too.
As for a general dislike, even though I ended up loving the book a lot, it took me a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to get into it. I almost gave up, actually, at around the 20% mark! I’m glad I didn’t, but it was a slow burn at the beginning that was almost too slow.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
Okay, so this is a tough one to rate for me. I ended up enjoying it, like I said, but it took me a really long time to get into it. And… I’m going to make a bigger announcement about this later in the week, but 2020 is going to be the year of the romance, and I’m going to start being a little more critical of the representation found in these books that are supposed to be about happiness and love! I’m already getting into that mindset, so here we go. I’m going to give A Wedding in December a YELLOWISH-GREEN rating. More diversity would make it a better book and give it a higher rating for me.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. And I’M SO SORRY I’M TWO WEEKS LATE WITH THIS REVIEW. I had good intentions, I swear.