The Christmas Cookie Club
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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Reading Group Guide
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
- 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?
- 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 about them? How does Aaron change for Mar