Thursday, November 22, 2007

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts--Book Review

Funny, inspiring, and unforgettable, On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts left me crying tears of laughter and found me cheering for characters who became so real that I would swear they lived on my street.

Joy, Laura, and some of the other wives in their knitting group feel their husbands don't appreciate the time and effort that goes into making Christmas special. From entertaining to shopping for gifts, from mailing out cards to decorating their homes, these women do it all. But this year they are sick and tired of not being able to enjoy the season and fighting to get their husbands to understand they need some help.

When Joy decides to go on strike for Christmas she has no idea what she's started. One after another, women from the knitting group join her, and once the local newspaper gets wind of the story, letters of support roll in and create an environment in the town of Holly where women and men are choosing sides. As the husbands learn exactly what it's like for their wives to create the perfect Christmas, the wives struggle not to interfere and make sure it is done the right way. And Rosemary Charles--the local reporter covering the story--has a bet with the newspaper's photographer that the women will win.

This is one of the funniest holiday stories I've ever read. Watching these husbands try to cook and decorate in addition to working all day was a rare treat. But On Strike for Christmas is more than a book about a battle between the sexes. It is about love, understanding, compromise, and friendships. While Joy and Laura get a lot of the limelight, the one character I truly loved was Carol. She is a widow and she can't understand why the women in her knitting group don't appreciate the men in their lives. Watching Carol's story unfold in the background is a special gift to the reader because it happens so calmly against the booming madness of the strike.

Sheila Roberts has written a story that is overflowing with unforgettable characters who inspire and entertain. I found myself not wanting any of them to fail. There were points where I was cheering on the wives, but then some of the husbands were trying so darn hard I wanted them to come out on top. And some of the best scenes included the children of these parents who were warring against each other.

On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts is not a classic tale like A Christmas Carol, but it will leave you appreciating the season and the people you love as much as George Bailey did at the end of It's A Wonderful Life. With On Strike for Christmas, Sheila Roberts touches upon the heart of Christmas in a very funny way.

Title: On Strike for Christmas
Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN-13: 978-0-312-37022-0
ISBN -10: 0-312-37022-9
Price (US): $13.95

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