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One Week In December
     

One Week In December

3.4 13
by Holly Chamberlin
 

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In this compelling, heartfelt novel from the bestselling author of Tuscan Holiday and The Friends We Keep, a family reunited for the holidays explores the price of secrets, the power of regret, and the choices that can change everything. . .

The Rowans' rambling Maine farmhouse is just big enough to contain the family members gathered there

Overview

In this compelling, heartfelt novel from the bestselling author of Tuscan Holiday and The Friends We Keep, a family reunited for the holidays explores the price of secrets, the power of regret, and the choices that can change everything. . .

The Rowans' rambling Maine farmhouse is just big enough to contain the family members gathered there in the week before Christmas. Becca Rowan has driven north from Boston with one thought in mind--reclaiming the daughter she gave up when she was a frightened teenager. Raised by Becca's older brother and his wife, Rain Rowan, now sixteen, has no idea she was adopted. And though Becca agreed not to reveal the truth until Rain turned twenty-one, lately that promise, along with all her career success, counts for little in the face of her loneliness and longing.

But while Becca anticipates shock at her announcement, she's unprepared for the depth of her family's reactions. Her brother is angry and fearful of losing the daughter he adores; her sister Olivia, oblivious to her crumbling marriage, reveals long-buried resentments, while Becca's parents are torn between concern and guilt. And as the Rowans' neighbor, Alex, draws her deeper into an unexpected friendship, Becca begins to challenge her own preconceptions about family, about love, and about the courage needed to live with--and sometimes change--the decisions we make. . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chamberlin (Tuscan Holiday) misses the mark with this repetitive chronicle of driven career-gal Becca Rowan’s quest to tell her 16-year-old niece, Rain, that Becca is actually her birth mother. Raised by Becca’s older brother, David, and his wife, Naomi, Rain was conceived by a teenaged Becca who barely knew Rain’s father. The deal was they’d wait until Rain was 21 to tell her the truth, but Becca’s been feeling very lonely, and so she determines to reclaim Rain during the annual family get-together the week before Christmas. And woe be the reader who tags along for this celebration of characters about as sturdy as wet cardboard, lazy writing (“James put his hand gently on Olivia’s arm, as if to calm or comfort her”) and plodding narrative. Without at least engaging characters, none of the goings-on matter much. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758285157
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
82,150
File size:
597 KB

Meet the Author

Holly Chamberlin was born and raised in New York City. After earning a Masters degree in English Literature from New York University and working as an editor in the publishing industry for ten years, she moved to Boston, married and became a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband now live in downtown Portland, Maine, in a restored mid-nineteenth century brick townhouse with Betty, the most athletic, beautiful and intelligent cat in the world. Readers can visit her website at:  www.hollychamberlin.com.

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One Week in December 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JGarrison More than 1 year ago
This is the second book of Holly Chamberlin that I've read, the first being "Tuscan Holiday." I didn't realize the author was the same until I was about halfway through this novel and looked at the others that she had written. I have to say, I probably wouldn't have picked it up (fortunately got it at a used book store). Chamberlin is an excellent writer. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy her style of writing and the overall story. But I HATE her characters. She always has a tendency to make her characters the most over dramatic and many ways un-realistic. Characters should be somewhat relate able--many of these characters weren't. Some points (Don't read further because of spoilers): Lily and Grandma Nora--good Lord, was the ONLY thing that Chamberlin could come up with is the idealistic teenager (I know Lily was a college student--but she wrote her like she was 16 and an idiot) who would do nothing but dwell on her grandfather's affair?? I realize that this was a cornerstone to Lily's crisis, but geez! It got old and I found myself skipping pages whenever Lily came up in the story. Olivia: I've never seen a woman go through a mid-life nervous breakdown about going on about the past. Couldn't she find another way to weave Olivia and James' issues in a better way without making the character seem like a freak? Geez! Rain: this story is essentially about the kid--barely had a "role" in the story. David: If Chamberlin wanted to write about a jerk, she did a great job. It could've been better. A lot better. Again, not to say that the overall story isn't good--just remember that Chamberlin likes to make her characters ridiculous...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters are believable. The story line was excellent! An easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A Christmas full of family disfunction leads to many questions of morals, faith, and trust in one another. Its a lovely story, well written. There are so many characters you can relate to.I reccomend this especially if you may be dreadful of seeing the family this Christmas. It is an excellent reminder that it is important to over look flaws and learn to appreciate the family you love.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Becca Rowan feels all alone, but her loneliness is compounded whenever she sees her sixteen year old niece, Rain. She knows she made a deal with her older brother David and his wife Naomi to raise Rain, but now she wants to tell her biological daughter the truth. Still Becca also knows if she does she will destroy her family as she acquiesced as a teen giving birth that her sibling and his spouse would raise her daughter as their own and telling her the truth when Rain turned twenty-one. During the annual family Christmas gathering, she plans to tell Rain the truth and to bring her daughter home. When she does, all hell breaks out. She feels remorseful wondering how selfish she was to break her promise while her brother and his wife are irate and feeling betrayed and Rain is upset and confused. Only the next door neighbor Alex provides her some comfort and advice as Becca tries to repair the disaster she caused. This is an engaging family drama although the key catalyst in causing the trauma Becca comes across extremely selfish and shallow rather than emotionally disturbed. The rest of the Rowan brood are developed to the point of being understood by readers in the way they react to Becca. Interesting and well written, fans will enjoy this contemporary tale but feel disappointed that Becca's mental anguish was not developed into crippling phobic loneliness way beyond her self-centered need. Harriet Klausner