Christmas Under Construction by Rylee Ridolfi – a Christmas themed book with really humourous twists
Christmas Under Construction by Rylee Ridolfi
Christmas is a dream for one of the McKenna sisters, as Molly puts the finishing touches to her Christmas village and the preparations for her wedding. This second book in the series features a dramatic period in the life of Megan, the sister who has always been known as the Winter Queen, the attractive woman who has found herself suddenly divorced and replaced. Mother of two young daughters who are complete opposites, she has struggled to find a way forward until she has been given the challenge of redecorating a lodge in the village. The problem really emerges when she discovers that she is to work with Stone Reynolds, who is a local man working on a local shabby property. Their working relationship is the subject of the book which takes a wry look at contemporary dating, post divorce problems and more with gentle humour in the ultimate festive setting. Although this is the second book in a series, it is perfectly possible to pick up the ongoing stories as the book is consistently and cleverly written. I found it an illuminating read and was pleased to have the opportunity to read and review it.
At the beginning of the book Megan is preparing to go on a blind date in order to appease her sisters and mother. Not that she expects much to come of it; she believes the difference between dating as a popular teenager and a divorced mother of two small girls is huge. This is especially true as a running joke throughout the book is that each date she is set up with is progressively less appealing. She meets Stone, who is apparently a construction worker who is willing to work on the lodge which is the final building in the Christmas village. Molly has firm views on the style she wants for the attraction, but Stone seems to have ideas of his own. As the days tick down to Christmas, she is also struggling to cope with her daughters Sophie, who is passionate about clothes and shoes, and Olivia who is far more concerned about the creatures that live in the nearby river. Her concentration on all things Christmas is further compromised by the visits of her ex husband Chase who continually reminds her of how she has spent most of her life as his partner in the perfect couple. His new partner Bree is of course younger, and as shallow as he is now beginning to appear to be as she realises that he is no longer her ideal man.
This is a book that concentrates on the lead up to Christmas and has a theme of dreams of the “perfect” celebration. However, this also takes a realistic view of what post divorce life can be like, especially with two demanding children. It is not the American dream, as it shows that money and status are not the answer to Megan’s problems. Stone is also a well developed character whose past is a problem to him, but who can develop a lovely relationship with not only Megan, but also her daughters. This is a festive romance with several humorous twists and near farce elements, as Megan especially is shown as a very real person who has the daily disasters which remove her from her perfect Winter Queen memories. I enjoyed the humour of this book, the characters who had a realistic view of life, and the way that Megan admits that there is a real need to accept that life has changed.
This is the other blog post that got delayed due to my technical problems with wi fi. It is a good read, and at this time we need some escapism!