Four friends in NYC hold onto their unconventional Christmas tradition even when their paths diverge - but the changes they fear might be exactly what they need ... Does growing up have to mean growing apart?
Ever read a book that you are surprised that you love as much as you do? Podcaster turned author Becca Freeman’s The Christmas Orphans Club, a story about a group of Christmas “orphans” who meet up every holiday season and spend it together because they have nowhere else to go, is that book for me.
It is Hannah and Finn’s holiday tradition to spend Christmas together. Hannah, an actual orphan, has no family except for an older sister who would rather spend the holidays with her husband than sister, and Finn was disowned by his own family after coming out as gay. Along the way, these Christmas orphans added two more members to their club - Theo, the forgotten son of a billionaire, and Priya, a fashionista from India who isn’t used to celebrating the holiday. This quartet has spent Christmas after Christmas together, making merry memories along the way, but this year is different. This may very well be their last Christmas together, as Finn is set to take a job in Los Angeles, and the group has been finding themselves pulled in different directions as of late. As the Orphans Club sets out to have their most epic, albeit bittersweet, Christmas ever, the members must face the music about their past, present, and future.
While I love holiday novels, it is a rare one that blows me away, but The Christmas Orphans Club is a book that I loved picking up. I was 100% invested in this novel and found myself looking for excuses to squeeze a little bit more reading time into my day - I actually finished this book within 24 hours (no small feat for me!) Not your typical seasonal fare, The Christmas Orphans Club is a novel first and foremost about friendship with a bit of peripheral romance worked in. It has an engaging, well-developed storyline and bold and brilliant characters. Both work seamlessly together to create a memorable holiday read.
The only thing that did not work for me in this novel was Priya. Her character was underdeveloped and one-dimensional, and she came off completely unlikable. I kept wondering throughout the book why Hannah, Finn, and Theo were even friends with her because she didn’t seem to enjoy the holidays, or even their group, as much as they did. Her sarcasm and negative attitude grated my nerves, and I kept wishing that the Orphans Club would just kick her to the curb. Thankfully, her role in the novel is small, so I was able to look past her when rating and reviewing this otherwise enjoyable read.
- Brooke, Public Relations Librarian