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“The Christmas Strike ”

★★★★★

written by Harriet Klausner on 02/12/2006

The Christmas Strike
Nikki Rivers
Harlequin Next, Dec 2006, $5.50
ISBN: 0373881215

In Willow Creek, Wisconsin, a widow for two decades, fiftyish Abby Blake loves her two daughters, her son-in-laws, and her grandchildren. However, she finds herself with an invasion and not one of the intruders is a partridge in a pear tree. Daughter Natalie came home with spouse Jeremy and three pre-adolescent children four months ago because he became unemployed; the older daughter Gwen came home with twelve shopping days before Christmas because of a spat with her husband David. Empty nest and the three-day rule of grandparenting are being nuked by her offspring.

Unable to take anymore from the menagerie, Abby agrees to escape with David's father Cole Hudson, whom she met once at their offspring's wedding; he is flying on his personal jet to Chicago. Cole, whose son married one of Abby's daughters, sees this as the chance he has been waiting for years to occur: to prove to her that life can be fun even for a middle age couple like them. Instead of the Windy City he hijacks her to Paris.

THE CHRISTMAS STRIKE is a delightful holiday tale starring a beleaguered granny who finally says enough and runs away from her home. The storyline is fast-paced in a You Can't Take It With You kind of way as Abby's calm life is devastated by the return of her formed nesters and turned further upside down when she flees the scene with her in-law. Nikki Rivers provides a fine, contemporary with a strong support cast and a heroine fans will admire.

Harriet Klausner

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