Sunday, December 03, 2023

Fortnightly Book, December 3

 I'll be busy this week and the next, as the term ends, so it makes sense to choose a shorter book and a re-read as the next fortnightly book. So I will be doing Cat Hodge's Unstable Felicity: A Christmas Novella. The original basic idea of the book was "an attempt to write a story with real characters and real stakes, but following the cliches of a Hallmark Christmas movie", called Christmas in Luxembourg (not that Luxembourg); the result was a reworking of the themes of King Lear in modern holiday circumstances. From the blurb:

Jill O’Leary’s December has all the hallmarks of a feel-good holiday special. She’s a successful Los Angeles career woman summoned home to small town Ohio to save the family business. There, she’ll have to navigate a White Elephant gift exchange, decorate the tree, and meet not one but two tall dark handsome strangers. 

 But it will take a miracle to make this Christmas merry and bright. Jill’s baggage is waiting for her at home: Regina, the demanding mother she hasn’t talked to since her father’s funeral four months ago; Reagan and Del, her sisters with their own agendas; Garrett French, a local real-estate mogul trying to snap up her family’s inn; and Heath Albany, the married ex-boyfriend who’s suspiciously eager to reconcile with her. Jill is determined to get in, fix the family finances by herself, and get back to the big city as soon as possible. But keeping her mother from turning Christmas into a tragedy proves more drama than she can handle on her own. It’s going to take her conniving sisters, the division of an empire, sudden blindness, a journey through a pitiless storm, and an unlikely hero to give this tragicomic tale a happy ending. 

 When you cross a conventional Christmas plot with Shakespeare’s King Lear, you get Unstable Felicity.

I've also found through my library's subscription in Hoopla the audiobook version, narrated by Suzanne T. Fortin, so I'll try to fit that in as well.