For the most part, I love short stories because they are exactly that – a quick read one can start and finish on a lunch hour. I found this one while searching online for new books and found that not only was How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas a novella by Fiona Gibson, but it also revolved around my favorite holiday season, Christmas. Without reading the reviews (I don’t liked to be tainted by others opinions.), I picked up a copy and headed off to lunch.
The story centers around two characters, Ben and Anna, heading off for what Anna believes to be the “perfect” Christmas. Little does she know that how wrong she is going to be. Perhaps this is simply a case of opposites attracting, but I just don’t see it. The more I read, it was plain to see that Ben and Anna did not belong together. Clearly they came from different worlds and it was never more apparent as soon as Anna stepped out of the car.
As soon as I saw Ben evading Anna’s questions, and ultimately hearing the disdain dripping from his mother’s mouth, I felt this story was more about one man’s desire to tell his well-to-do parents to “bugger off” as they say across the pond. Things progressively get worse and I was happy to see that Anna was not completely oblivious to the situation, and after one day realize that this is not the life she envisions for herself.
Overall I think that Ms. Gibson would be better off going back to the drawing board and adding a bit more detail to fill in the gaps that are sorely needed in How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas. I would have really liked to see a bit more development of the backstory regarding Anna’s relationships. I think this would help the ending make sense and maybe alleviate the abruptness as well. Rating:
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