The Christmas Cookie Club

A Novel

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Mark your calendar. It's the Christmas Cookie Club! Every year on the first Monday of December, Marnie and her twelve closest girlfriends gather in the evening with batches of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies. Everyone has to bring a dish, a bottle of wine, and their stories. This year, the stories are especially important. Marnie's oldest daughter has a risky pregnancy. Will she find out tonight how that story might end? Jeannie's father is having an affair with her best friend. Who else knew about the betrayal, and how can that be forgiven or forgotten, even among old friends such as these? Rosie's husband doesn't want children, and she has to decide, very soon, whether or not that's a deal breaker for the marriage. Taylor's life is in financial freefall. Each woman, each friend has a story to tell, and they are all interwoven, just as their lives are.

On this evening, at least, they can feel as a group the impulses of sisterly love and conflict, the passion and hopefulness of a new romance, the betrayal and disillusionment some relationships bring, the joys and fears of motherhood, the agony of losing a child, and above all, the love they have for one another. As Marnie says, the Christmas Cookie Club, if it's anything, is a reminder of delight.

The Christmas Cookie Club is about the paths Marnie and her friends have traveled, the absolute joy they take in life and love despite the decisions they've regretted, the hard choices and amends they've had to make, and the sacrifices along the way. Ultimately, The Christmas Cookie Club is every woman's story. As you read about Marnie and her friends, their struggles and triumphs, what makes them laugh and what has made them cry, you'll see yourself and some of the ingredients of your own story. Celebrating courage and joy in spite of hard times and honoring the importance of women's friendships as well as the embracing bonds of community, Ann Pearlman has written a novel that speaks to us all.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439166215 | 
  • October 2009
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Video

Share a holiday treat with Author Ann Pearlman's Christmas Cookie Club

Watch as author Ann Perlman tells how much fun she had writing her debut novel about the rich and complicated friendships between twelve women who meet for a cookie exchange.

Read an Excerpt

The Christmas Cookie Club 1 Marnie
Pecan Butter Balls

2 cups pecans

2 cups flour

1 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Chop the pecans in a blender or food processor until you have two cups. Combine all of the ingredients except confectioners’ sugar. Gather the dough into a ball. With floured hands, shape into one-inch balls and bake on ungreased cookie... see more

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Christmas Cookie Club includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

Every year on the first Monday of December, a group of women gather to share cookies, food, wine, and stories. This year, Marnie, the “head cookie bitch” is preoccupied with caring for a bereaved friend, waiting for a life or death call from her pregnant daughter, and debating how far to fall in love with her boyfriend Jim. Meanwhile, the guests have problems of their own: a father’s infidelity with a friend, a move to another state, a husband’s desertion. But they come together, knowing that dark times and snowy nights call for the warmth that only friends can provide.

Questions for Discussion

  1. How does the present action of the narrative, as well as the way details are revealed about characters, affect your reading of the novel? In what ways does the story draw the reader in as a new member of the group?
  2. As Marnie says, “The people in our lives change as our understanding changes.” (pg. 193) How does each character in the novel change for you as you learn more ab
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