The White Christmas Inn by Colleen Wright
I am alone now, letting the warmth and flavor of homemade hot chocolate spread through me, sitting by the wood stove, enjoying the quiet that is now here at Wildflower, until a bit after Christmas… Most of the Christmas rush is done and all that remains is a crafting extravaganza on the 23rd through 25th, Dr. Farmer Moomin, is off work now and I can put him to work here at home in the cozy of our little Rockwell stylized life. Outside, the ice, snow, and rain has been beating down most of the day and finally some cold is setting in and strengthening. Gradually building until snow storms will hail down later this winter. It smells like wet ice outside. Inside it smells of fir trees, orange, and warm spices as well as the salted chocolate brownies I made earlier. Soon, cinnamon cornbread will also haunt the other winter time fragrances in the house.
Earlier, the book club gathered. This is our last meeting where two shots will be considered fully vaccinated. As of January, boosters will be required for all hoping to attend. We are a tiny club made up of somewhere between three and eight women depending on the month. We are all quite different, but we all read and enjoy sharing a reading experience together. So we meet monthly to discuss a mutual reading experience. This month we read The White Christmas Inn, which I enjoyed in some respects and was a bit disappointed by in other respects.
I have to say, this book was at least as predictable as a Hallmark movie. It also kinda toed the culty Hallmark line. No one can kiss under Mistletoe, until wedded in some obscene born again catholic ceremony. Our favorite character was the Molly, the author of children’s books. We also kind of liked the elderly woman who stayed on even after selling the place to Jean and Tim, to run as an inn. She reminded us just a little at times of one of The Golden Girls. So a nice relief. As the story goes…. An inn keeping couple on the rocks, rent out the inn for a wedding only to have the bride and her family and maid of honor arrive. The groom, calls off the wedding leaving the bride distraught and damaged, and the inn keepers Tim and Jean, terrified for their financial future as it seems the inn is about go under. They also have a pair of empty nesters at the inn, and of course in the crow’s nest is Molly a children’s book writer escaping her christmas loneliness and lack of inspiration to go somewhere lovely to try to write. Enter the unforseen event…… A blizzard of epic New England proportions, and a father with two little girls arrives at the inn desperate for a place to stay. He arrives right after the last room has been rented to a cranky mysterious british guest who is also forced off the road by the snow. No beds left so Molly, lets the two little girls take a bed in her room combo suite. Their father takes the couch… The inn is lovely, and each guest goes on a bit of a journey through their relationships with one another. The grand son of the elderly inn helper shows up…. And all kinds of crazy christmas magic happens. I don’t want to say much more about it as I don’t wish to spoil it.
This was not the deepest read we have ever done together. That honor might go to The Birth House, by Ami Mckay, or perhaps The House Of Sand And Fog by Andre Dubus III. I chose it for us because this time of year is so hectic I wanted something that would be a quick read. A beach read almost only snow rather than sunshine and sand and water.
My favorite part of this book is the food. The descriptions of food and foods mentioned have proven inspirational to me on every level as the runner of a B&B. I love this book for the food ideas alone. I made salted brownies a recipe I invented after learning about it from this book. Also made sugar cookies, and mixed up some hot chocolate…. Others brought ginger bread, and peanut butter cookies, and snickerdoodle cookies and more. We had ourselves a sugary naughty snack of christmassy treats inspired by this lovely little Christmas beach read.
We finished our discussion of the book rather quickly. There wasn’t much to say about it really. This was one of those reads that due to it’s empty sweetness, brought us closer together as a sisterhood in that it left room for us to talk about our lives and life in general and touch base about the virus we are all living with these days and so very much more. Often, of late we have been quite small in number, but this time we had a good five of us gathered. So that was really really nice. We had a lovely time chatting in front of the lit up wood stove in a tiny B&B decorated for Christmas, eating snacks from or inspired by this cutesy little read. This was a great read for a busy December, and a lovely discussion for a cold day, and good company. Everyone brought great food to share. Which was really nice. but I think that the blue ribbon goes to the snickerdoodle cookies.
Thank you for reading
Amanda of Wildflower Farm