by Debbie Macomber

October 2002
ISBN: 1-55166-944-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Trade Paperback

The Christmas Basket is a tale of second chances. Of once close relationships that had been split apart and now have a chance to be whole again. Noelle McDowellís heart was broken all those years ago when Thomas Sutton jilted her. Or was it Thomís heart that had been broken when Noelle didnít show up as planned for their elopement? Each has their own version of events and if they can get over past hurts and around their feuding mothers they may just discover that the love they once shared hadnít died, it was just buried.

Sarah McDowell and Mary Sutton used to be best friends, now they are bitter rivals. Wherever one is, youíre not likely to find the other. Each blames the other and their families for the pain their children (Noelle and Thom) have suffered, not realizing that the true pain is a result of the rift in the womenís relationships.

Whatís aggravating about this book is that you have two adults - Noelle and Thom - who obviously love each other, allowing their mothersí idiocy to keep them apart. Whatís worse is that this is their second chance at love. Luckily they both eventually acknowledge that they want to be together but I think itís idiocy that they should feel the need to wait and smooth things over between their ridiculous mothers before they do so. I was pleased that they were at least determined to be together. But before we get to that point we have to deal with encounter after encounter between the mothers that end with them being embarrassed, angry and even more determined to one-up each other. On the bright side, Debbie Macomber injects some humor into the seemingly endless battles.

While I liked the idea behind The Christmas Basket, I wasnít thrilled with either the execution or the characters. None of them really jumped out as being particularly interesting.

Reviewed in October 2002 by JaToya.

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