Keeping Christmas, by Dan Walsh, is a little different than some of his other books. The story is engaging, to a degree, but it’s slow-paced. But the main difference is I didn’t connect with the characters, or deeply sympathize with their circumstances, or grow to love them, or miss them once I finished the book.
Judith and Stan Winters are married, but have completely different outlooks on life. Judith is a reluctant empty nester, so the upcoming holidays seem more of a burden than joy. Rather than find comfort in pleasant memories and a promising future, she’s stuck in a glum present. Stan takes things in stride, and isn’t weighed down.
None of her kids had been there. This was the first year since Judith and Stan became empty nesters that the nest stayed empty on Thanksgiving. (Judith)
As an empty nester myself, I should’ve been able to sympathize with Judith’s deep-seated emotions concerning her children not being home for the holidays—but I wasn’t. Instead, she came across as whiney, selfish, and ungrateful. I understood her feelings, I just wanted her to snap out of it and look at what was in front of her, rather than all that was behind. I actually felt sorry for her husband, Stan, because he was at a loss with how to deal with her as well. The two are opposites in their life views, Judith, pessimistic, Stan, the eternal optimist, content with life.
“I like our little house. I especially like that it’s paid for.” (Stan)
Like I stated in the beginning of this review, the story is engaging enough to have kept me reading till the end, but barely. I didn’t like Judith very much, although I saw glimmers of a personality when she was with her best friend. Her heart is so closed off it’s difficult for even the reader to peek inside. Her husband on the other hand was easier to like and sympathize with.
This is a quick read, but I wasn’t emotionally tied to the book.
Thank you to Revell for providing me a review copy of this book.
First Line: Judith Winters never understood why they called it Black Friday.