Friday, November 6, 2015

The Hundred Gifts by Jennifer Scott

She's an empty nester.  This is not unusual.  Your children grow up and start new lives.  If only they weren't so far away.  If only her husband paid attention to her she might not feel so lonely.  But he has his dune buggy and his band to fill his time.  That's what fulfills him.  What would fulfill her?

Penguin Random House sent me a copy of this book to review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy now.

Bren has not only lost her family but she's losing her family traditions, too.  She always made a big Christmas dinner.  This year no one is coming and she and her hubby are going to eat out.  She has no presents to buy.  What can she do to make herself feel better?

By accident, she stops and reads about an upcoming cooking class.  They are looking for a teacher.  While she's thinking about that, the manager of the building snags her at the door and offers her the job.  The previous teacher cancelled and she needs a replacement now.  She agrees before she thinks about it.

The group of women who are coming to the class are diverse, outspoken, and some bring their problems to class.  If it's not hard enough to decide what to cook, adjust to doing it in front of people, and trying to keep everyone on the same schedule, she has another problem.  The old woman who lives upstairs wants them out of there.  They burn food, park where she takes her dog out to do his business, and they are loud.  The war is on.

Instead of fighting back nastily, they decide to give her small presents and things she might need to try to make peace.  She takes the goods to the cancer center and hands them out.  Bren can't believe it!  The old woman persists in pestering them.  When it appears they will be closed down and the school is over, it seems like her school is dead.  However, this is Christmas.  There is a happy ending.  

Ms. Scott make her characters very human.  They all have faults of some kind.  This really shows you what a good heart can heal.  I liked that.

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