Published: January 7th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Ltd (first published October 1st 2009)
Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Chick-lit/ Contemporary
Date Finished: 20th December 2011
Rating/ Recommendation: 4 Stars **** [Perfect for remembering what Christmas is truly about]
A riveting and highly commercial debut novel about the rich and complicated friendships between twelve women who meet for a cookie exchange.
When I picked this book up, I’m not sure what I was expecting. A jolly Christmas tale with lots of baking, laugher and gossip, but even during the first few pages I knew there was more to it, and I could hardly hold back the tears. Still once I got past it, and I loved that it made me feel those emotions; I curled up in the comfort of my bed and began to enjoy the blended stories unfolding.
This novel is based off the authors own experiences with her membership in the cookie club and it starts off with a recipe her own grandmother shared with her and which she shared with her club and a charity they chose to gift. I am a big fan of giving, not only during Christmas, but during all times of the year so this element felt heartwarming and inspirational.
I really liked the added elements in the novel like the history and facts of some of the everyday ingredients we use and take for granted and the recipes at the start of each woman’s perspective. It’s a novel and recipe book in one and I for one cannot wait to try out some of these recipes. With each recipe the story of their lives unfold and I loved that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you feel like you are part of the story. This feeling certainly resonated for me throughout the The Cookie Club.
It did get a little confusing at times and I did my best to keep with up with everyone especially when there was so much attention to stories and their lives and how their friendships were built, but once I re-read some pages and was able to recall certain characters it didn’t really bother me.
Anne set up great tension in this novel, with the underlying question of whether the main character Marine’s eldest daughter’s pregnancy would carry to full term. Every so often I read just to know how it all panned out. And I enjoy a book with a little mystery.
Overall definitely not a light read, but one that really makes you question what love and friendship means. And I admire that women can share friendships throughout so many decades through all the trials and tribulations and still be there for one another and love each other unconditionally. If you are looking for great Christmas read, or a fantastic contemporary escape I would recommend picking up The Cookie Club.