The Twelve Months of Christmas
by Sheila Roberts
Release Date: October 3, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Sunny, Arianna and Molly are having three very different but equally terrible Christmases. Sunny is a newlywed with two new stepkids who want nothing to do with her; Arianna is newly divorced and hates having to send her daughter off to spend the holiday with her dad; for Molly, nothing is new, but her job at the post office is getting very, very old.
The whole Christmas season has been a bust all around. But Sunny and Arianna have a wild idea: What if they had a Christmas do-over in January? February? On Saint Patrick’s Day?
Christmas all year long—what could that look like? As these three determined women chase the perfect holiday through twelve months of cooking disasters, over-the-top festivity, and lots of laughter and tears, they’ll discover perfection is way overrated.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to celebrate the spirit of Christmas every month of the year? That's what friends and neighbors, Sunny, Arianna, and Molly decide to do after each experiencing a less than ideal Christmas. How will it impact their lives, their families, and their friendship? Will it succeed in returning the joy that's been missing? These are the questions Sheila Roberts explores in her newest holiday novel, The Twelve Months of Christmas.
Roberts brings a whole boatload of emotions to this book. First, she has assembled a diverse cast of characters, each facing a different type of challenge in their lives, each of whom responds differently to those challenges. Just like in real life, these characters have flaws that drive their actions, creating obstacles among friends and within families. There's betrayal and heartache, but there's also strength, love, inspiration, and unwavering support. Roberts doesn't pull any punches with these women, throwing heartbreaking obstacles in their paths that result in some pretty high emotional mountains to climb. But those obstacles also afford the opportunity for growth, for eye-opening realizations, for the chance to open hearts to the people who are always there for them. Friends who become family.
There are snippets of humor throughout the book - it wouldn't be a Sheila Roberts book without humor - but, for me, this one leans more heavily to the emotional side. Tears were flowing more than once. As in life, these characters have to deal with significant storm clouds and some of them are heart-wrenching, especially if you are dealing with or have dealt with similar situations in your own life. I'll list trigger warnings below.
If you're looking for a heart-tugging story with multi-layered characters, relatable life experiences, humor, love, and complex relationships, all with the joy and hope of Christmas at its core, give this one a try. But keep the tissues handy.
Trigger Warning: death, divorce, cancer, stroke