The Christmas Wedding By James Patterson

While reading this I thought someone was yanking my chain! This is the most ridiculous plot I have ever read!!!! Even Danielle Steel on an extremely bad day could not come up with something so outlandish! And to think it was written by two men is beyond my comprehension.

The plot:
middle age widow lady is proposed to by 3 good looking nice middle age single men [now tell me where are 3 good looking nice middle age single men together?????]. That's not the most ridiculous part-- they all propose to her at the same time in the same place and remain friends for the next month till she announces the one she accepts--- at their wedding no less! She invites family and friends [over 200] and plans an elaborate wedding but keeps the groom secret until the ceremony! As she walks down the aisle all 3 are waiting to see if they are chosen. And no jealousy or angry fits appeared. Pardon me but those old time fairy tales are not as stupid as that.

The only thing that saved this book and I ended up rating it 2 stars was the characters. Her grown children and their families were a delight and made me feel that I didn't waste the few hours it took to read this one.

Come on Patterson you can do better!!!! Hardcover Wish I could give it zero stars, although it might be useful for authors to read as an example of What Not To Do.

The Good - it's a very quick read. I didn't notice any typos. The cover is pretty, if you think a slender young women in a sleeveless white dress with a long train works to represent a 50-60ish widowed grandmother getting married in a pale purple dress and sneakers.

The Bad - The premise is that Gaby, said grandmother & widow, is getting married. She is sending video DVD's BY MAIL (like she wouldn't upload to YouTube and send as e-mail attachments?) bragging on this to her four grown children - with a twist. She won't tell them which of three men she's marrying - in fact, she won't tell the men, either. They have to all meet her at the altar where one gets to win her, and the other two are supposed to suck it up and be happy for them.

Right. This doesn't make us like her; doesn't make us like the MEN. What wusses would they be to sign up for this kind of public humiliation?

The four grown children - not enough real estate is spent on any of them to let us know who they are, barest sketches as to their marital and employment situation. No character has a distinct voice.

Claire is married to a deadbeat stoner, and the authors spend a lot of page time trying to staple in a Reefer Madness theme. Said deadbeat goes from being too stoned to enunciate his words or stand up to slapping her across the face. Right. Their 14 year old son is so stoned he stretches out for a nap on the floor of the local mall in front of a busy store. Right. Kid brings a single joint along to Grandma Gaby's wedding because he needs to be stoned all the time; then he inveigles his 8 year old girl cousin whom he rarely sees into the woods to share it with him, because...? I guess because weed makes you crazy. No pay-off for him in either sharing the weed or corrupting this cousin.

Then when grandma catches him and gives him a stern Just Say No talkin'-to, all better. Right.

The authors do a great disservice to victims of domestic violence by trying to link it to marijuana use. Ask any cop, they will tell you, stoners aren't violent. *Drinkers* are; those who use cocaine and amphetamines are. People with certain mental illnesses can be. Claire's feelings at being struck by her husband are too quickly glossed over to push to the next plot point. We don't know if this is the first time he's struck her - in which case, she should be WAY more shocked - or the thirty-first, in which case, her reaction and behaviors before and after should be quite different. It's mentioned she doesn't have time to cry (really? like when we cry we check our watches first okay, I have time, let'r rip) or put ice on her cheek. But there's no pay-off to that, nobody noticing a bruise or red mark and asking her What happened to you? She does decide to dump the loser, but she doesn't even ask her lawyer sister about getting a referral to a divorce attorney.

Back to the bride and her three grooms - they may be in their late 50's/early 60's, but they're not supposed to be *dead*. There's no sexual tension in the scenes where they are one-on-one. She spends an hour on a picnic up a tree snuggled with one of the guys, and it's like she's there with a teddy bear. There should be some regret because if she is *not* marrying this guy, watching the sunset while snuggled with him is going to be off the table.

I could go on, but I don't want to spend more time on the review than was spent on the book. Hardcover Oh dear. Time to rant. I feel like I could write a scathing review of this book that was actually longer than the novel itself. I had an inkling that this wouldn’t be a good fit for me, but I picked it anyway because I promised my senior book group a happy little holiday novel and, at the end of the day (or the atrocious novel), it’s really about their reading preferences and not mine. If I can make just one of the members happy and maybe have a good discussion about why we hated or loved a book, then I feel like I’ve done my job. But as this is MY Goodreads account, I’m going to bash this book like a Michael Vick piñata at a PETA party.
I’m genuinely curious about the relationship between Patterson and his co-authors. Does he come up with a relatively palatable idea and then draw a name from a hat filled with aspiring authors hoping to cling to his famous shirttails? Seeing as how his solo series do fabulously well and have multitudes of fans, I can only assume that he has no part in the actual writing process at all when it comes to these duos of disaster. (See my review of Patterson’s Zoo for further proof that Patterson + _________ = suck.)
The premise of The Christmas Wedding is that a grandmother, who asks all her children and grandchildren to call her “Gabby” which is just weird to me, is getting married. The whole informal nickname thing is like an elderly woman wearing a tube top and playing beach volleyball. There’s being young at heart, and then there’s denial. So Gabby decides that it’s time to get married again after her previous husband passed away from a heart attack three years prior. The kicker is that three of her homeboys have asked for her hand: a farmer, a rabbi and her brother-in-law. Does this sound like the beginning of a “walk into a bar” joke to anyone else? Not to mention that while it is technically legal and not at all disgusting on a genetic level, I throw up a little on the inside when I hear that someone will be marrying anyone with a familial title: second cousin, adopted sister, step-brother. I feel that banjo music and moonshine will inevitably be present at the wedding reception.
Gabby has chosen her mate and decreed that all four of her children, their spouses and any offspring they may have must be present on Christmas for the wedding. Oh, and she’s not telling anyone, EVEN THE GROOM, who she will be marrying. Wow. This is a woman that I love to hate. First off, it’s totally uncool to ruin Christmas with a wedding. I want to spend the day in my pajamas and if you force me to dress up, leave my house, and play nice with folks I don’t know, then I will humbug you like you’ve never been humbugged before. Secondly, what man in his right mind would stand for that crap. “Ok, so I’ve asked you to spend the rest of your life with me- one of the most important and sacred relationships we can have in this world- and you tell me that I’ll be contending against two other eligible bachelors with no decision to be announced until we’re all standing at the alter??? Sure, sign me up!” Someone’s been watching a little too much reality television if they think this would fly in the real world. Ew, the whole setup is just egotistical, selfish and bizarre.
One of the first scenes in the book is a husband verbally and physically abusing his wife (one of Gabby’s daughters) after-school-special-style because he’s under the influence……of marijuana! Yep, that’s right, he’s stoned out of his gourd. I don’t know about you, but when I think of stoners I think of three things: couches, the home shopping network and cheez puffs. (No, I’m not speaking from personal experience but I feel fairly confident that this generalization isn’t too far off the mark.) I don’t really envision someone higher than a kite to start yelling for iced tea and backhanding his wife for calling him out on his vile behavior. That’s alcoholic and/or cocaine type behavior in my mind. Later in the book, Gabby runs out into the freezing woods in her wedding dress without any shoes on to stop her delinquent stoner grandson from leading one of his cousins down the disreputable road to drugs and lies. Poor Gabby suffers from mild frostbite and a few scrapes and bruises on her feet, wherein she is unable to wear her designer wedding shoes. Oh darn. At this point in the book, I was hoping that it might take a darker and far more interesting turn, like her feet turn black and start rotting and no one knows until her husband lifts her dress to perform the traditional garter toss after the ceremony. That would’ve been cool.
While I really didn’t give a hoot about any of the characters in the book, I was still a little cheesed off that Gabby didn’t choose the guy that I thought she would. On second thought, I’m relieved that this woman’s thought process would differ so much from my own. She actually had foie gras at one of her parties. One of the most cruel and ridiculous foods that you can possibly choose and she serves it as an hors d’oeuvres. I bet she has a secret stash of Styrofoam containers and buys from puppy mills.
Hardcover The Christmas Wedding is the first novel I've read by James Patterson. Starting the novel, I didn't know what to expect. To me, James Patterson isn't synonymous with fiction work with a romantic theme.

The Christmas Wedding is centered around Gaby and her four grown children - Claire, Liz, Emily and Seth. In the first half of the book, there are several chapters dedicated to each child. I thought that this was an interesting way for the reader to learn about Gaby's kids without being told the information. The book worked best for me when it centered around Gaby's kids and their lives.

Gaby sends her children a video telling them that she is getting married on Christmas Day. She doesn't tell them who she will be marrying and the only way to find out is to come home for Christmas. We are introduced to Gaby's three potential husbands - Tom, Jacob and Marty. I found it hard to believe that these three men were okay with Gaby stringing them along. The supposed romantic element of the story was not believable. If a man proposes marriage, he obviously has feelings for the woman, strong feelings. I don't think any man would be okay with being strung along with two other men. I felt that Gaby was being selfish by not saying who she was going to marry. What were Gaby's motives behind keeping it a secret? It felt like it was a game to her. I wish we were given more background information about Gaby so that I could understand her more. For me, Gaby came off as a flighty, selfish person. She cares about her kids and the men in her life, but I felt like what she did was cruel. When she finally chooses her husband, I wasn't overly surprised or emotional about it.

The Christmas Wedding was a good story but it didn't wow me. It is a quick read and the plot will keep you engaged. Like I said earlier, the story worked best for me when it centered around Gaby's children. I didn't find Gaby endearing or likable and the sections of the book that were devoted to her did not hold my interest. There were parts of Gaby's behavior that were distracting. I found it odd that her kids and grandkids called her by her first name and she was okay with that. There was no explanation as to how she became Gaby and not Mom or Granma. Again, I wish I knew more about Gaby's history because the little odd things about her were distracting to me. I shouldn't focus on why her family called her by her first name but I couldn't not think about it and wonder.

All in all, The Christmas Wedding was an enjoyable read. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon. I'm sure fans of Patterson will love it.

C Hardcover OOOOOOOh! I loved this story! This was a wonderful very feel good adventure. I don't normally read James Patterson books because they are not my cup of tea, however it appears that this time he took a completely different turn. Many of his regular fans are not happy with this book because it is just so sweet and gentle. However, perhaps he's attempting to attract another segment of the reading population. I hope he writes other books like this. The icing on the cake for me is that I was married during the Christimas season 20 years ago. It was a very beautiful wedding and I was blessed with an incredible, precious, generous, very loving guy who still treats me like a queen. Hardcover

The tree is decorated, the cookies are baked, and the packages are wrapped, but the biggest celebration this Christmas is Gaby Summerhill's wedding. Since her husband died three years ago, Gaby's four children have drifted apart, each consumed by the turbulence of their own lives. They haven't celebrated Christmas together since their father's death, but when Gaby announces that she's getting married--and that the groom will remain a secret until the wedding day--she may finally be able to bring them home for the holidays.

But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise--she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. With deeply affecting characters and the emotional twists of a James Patterson thriller, The Christmas Wedding is a fresh look at family and the magic of the season.

The Christmas Wedding

READ & DOWNLOAD The Christmas Wedding


Once upon a time, I adored James Patterson's writing. I couldn't get enough of his books from about ten years ago and prior, but as the years have gone by and he has started pumping out a book or two every couple months, the quality of his stories has really plummeted. Most of Patterson's books these days are collaborations, so I am not sure how much he actually writes and how much is just his name printed prominently on the cover to boost sales. Regardless, his older novels are excellent and his more recent books are usually still not too shabby. They are at the very least, usually quick, easy, entertaining reading. This is not true of Christmas Wedding, which is in fact the worst James Patterson novel I have ever read by far. Honestly, Christmas Wedding is the worst book I have read in a very long time, and I am not opposed to a sappy Christmas story now and then. Christmas Wedding is slow and boring from cover to cover. I kept waiting for an amazing plot twist to pull it all together and make it a worthwhile read, but it never came. The description of the book from the book jacket reads, . . . But the wedding isn't Gaby's only surprise--she has one more gift for her children, and it could change all their lives forever. After reading this book, I have no idea what this other gift/surprise for her children is. I didn't choose this book expecting it to be action packed, but I did expect it to have more to it than it did. The line above from the book's own description, gave me the impression that there would something to the story that wasn't already mentioned on the book jacket. I was hoping for something on the level of Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas or a charmingly magical plot twist like the ones Nicolas Sparks does so well. Christmas Wedding has no twists and is neither interesting nor charming. Don't waste your time reading this book. You will be disappointed. Hardcover If there was an option of 0 stars for this book, that is what I would have given it. The main character Gaby is a self centered bitch who thinks the world revolves around her. There is nothing about Christmas in this book other than the fact that the wedding takes place on Christmas. Gaby is so self centered that she has 150 people join her for a Christmas eve dinner and even more for a Christmas day wedding so everyone can honor her and pay homage to her. None of these people wanted to share Christmas with their own families? There is not even any mention of any special presents or treats being given to the grandchildren of Gaby for Christmas. She is such an egotistical bitch that she doesn't even want her own grandchildren to call her grandma but wants them to call her by her first name. Really? And she is portrayed as being such a giving, kindhearted woman who provides oatmeal to homeless people in her barn and yet she herself is indulging in gourmet meals and wines. She is upset when she finds her 13 year old grandson with some weed and yet she has him warm brandy up for her ... what is wrong with this picture. What a stupid book and a waste of time. Don't waste your money buying this pitiful excuse for a book. What three men would come to a wedding and stand there waiting to see which one she would pick for her husband. The whole premise is stupid!!!! Hardcover 8/25/12: Yeah, this is just not going to happen. Every time I look at this book and think about picking it back up I have the same reaction I do to the prospect of drinking prune juice. I'm not going to continue to torture myself with this one.

2/03/12: I just, I don't think I can, guys. I'm not going to rate this (it will be one star) and mark it as flounced…yet. I'll make that decision later, after I attempt to pick it up again. But it is such an unenjoyable read that I'm not sure I can make myself keep reading.

The premise of the story is so stupid. The bride of this Christmas Wedding is Gaby. She's in her fifties and lost her husband four years ago. She has decided it's time to be loved again and how serendipitous! Three, good looking, eligible bachelors of suitable age have asked her to marry them at the same time! So she has decided to use the occasion to manipulate her four children and their families. To find out who Gaby will marry, they must all show up to the wedding – on Christmas day. Which, they haven't been together since her husband died, okay. The problem is, she won't tell the three men who proposed to her who she has chosen until their wedding day. So this supposedly caring, loving person has decided that for her to have something for her she has to deal heartbreak and humiliation to two men she claims to love as friends and force them to watch her marry the third in front of a bunch of other people. Nope, not a selfish bitch at all. She's so hip and with it that she makes video messages for her kids…and then sends them Fed Ex to the kids instead of putting them up on YouTube or something. (This was published October of last year.) Gaby is the kind of egotistical woman who makes her grandchildren call her by her first name because grandma makes her skin itch. Cue my epic eye roll. She's supposed to be such a caring, giving person who has spent her life doing for others and even feeds the homeless in her barn every day (though she actually says she feels like they should pay something for the meal and collects whatever money they can give). Really she completely reminds me of but she has none of Blanche's wit, charm, and self-awareness.

Then there are her children – we have to jump between all of their stories like a soap opera.

There's Claire, who is dealing with a worthless pothead husband and her burgeoning worthless pothead son. Except she's not dealing with them. Instead she coddles them both and then wonders why her life is the way it is. It's one thing that she can't figure out what to do about her useless, now abusive husband, but everything her son is doing is to be exactly like his father. Would she really not attempt to do anything about him? Reading some of the other one star reviews, there's more messed up stuff with this kid and the pot smoking that will cause me massive amounts of rage.

Gaby's other daughter Emily is basically perfect. Columbia law, law review, published note, big law job out of school, on the partner track and is the firm superstar, she's even perfect at her pro bono work! I can't relate to this woman and I just graduated from a New York law school! I will grant you that there is a lot of bitterness and jealousy working at me on this one, but I cannot be alone in being bored and annoyed with super perfect characters – regardless of profession. To top it off, her husband is a superstar neurosurgeon resident. Of course.

The only characters I like are Gaby's other two children Seth and Lizzie and their families. They're very relatable characters, but of course they're going through really trying and sad times. Still, they were the only ones who kept my interest. If I start reading the book again it will be for them. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent with them, and there appears to be no depth to their stories on the horizon. I suppose the Lizzie/Mark situation is also supposed to give us a glimpse into caring, loving Gaby, and I did like her in those chapters, but it's not enough to change my view of her primary character. Hardcover Avoid this one and don’t waste your time!

Totally disappointed in James Patterson’s writing. What the hell was he thinking about when he put these characters and story together? It’s one hot mess and the biggest mess is the Mom, Gaby. A widow, looking for love and marriage out of one of her close male friends but it’s a surprise to everyone but her. She is so absolutely full of herself and her plans and “oh, I’m not announcing who I’m going to marry until the wedding day.” So these poor guys are going to be standing there, waiting for the one lucky sucker, oops, I mean, groom selection to be made? What is this???

As I said, it is all about her. It’s all about her as her children are having life issues, but while she says “the right things” to them, she really is of no help to them because all she keeps thinking about is stringing these poor men along, a kiss here, a flirt there, oh gee, will you be the lucky groom to be wedded to ME? - this shallow, self consuming female? She loves to boast. She is self centered. She is a pitiful and pathetic woman. She is narcisstic.

This book had absolutely nothing relative to Christmas other than Gaby’s intended wedding being on Christmas Day and that was her way of manipulating her kids back home for the holidays. The last time they were all home was when Gaby’s husband/their father, died.

I mean, really, out of the blue you get a phone call / videos from your mother that she is getting married on Christmas, the man TBD and story To Be Continued. Her big reveal is planned on Christmas Day in her barn on the farm. So I really want to ask, do you all (family) not talk much to each other? How does something big and life changing like this come out of the blue? Gaby thought it was “cute”; she thought it was “a clever game.” A ruse. To me, it was a joke! You don’t string people/friends along like this.

There is a family relative in the story who is battling cancer. A spin is put on this which is pathetic, really. The guy is having full blown seizures and he is joking about it and so are some of the others. Trying to add levity to a serious situation is in my opinion, in poor taste.

I pity Gaby’s new husband, even though he is the made up character in the book. In real life I’d want to tell him to “Run! Run for your life, man!” 🏃🏽‍♂️And Don’t look back!

And THEN the audacity that the other male contenders were understanding, jolly good fellows after not being selected and were dancing and celebrating the wedding night away is absolutely moronic. They did, after all, all propose to her. So, it’s okay to play with other peoples feelings, as long as yours are all met?

Forget this lackluster, disappointing “Christmas” read. Hardcover The Christmas Wedding is by James Patterson. I listened to the audio version of this book.

Gaby Summerhill lost her husband three years ago. She had a wonderful life with him and has four grown children who have all gone in separate directions. The family has not gotten together since the death of their father/husband. Gaby is ready, now, to turn the page. She has fallen in love and is planning a Christmas wedding at her farm. But there are a few surprises with this wedding. She has three men whom she is close with and loves each one in their own way. All three of these men have proposed to Gaby. She is not going to reveal to her children or to the men who she has chosen until the wedding day.

Gaby wants all of her children home for her wedding in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and communicates with them by sending videos. Each of the children have busy lives and things of their own they are forced to deal with. Her son Mike has been dealing with cancer. Her youngest son, Seth, is trying to sell his first book. Emily is questioning her career, and Claire has some serious issues with her husband and her oldest son. But, as the family comes together, the love they feel for one another gives them strength.

This Christmas turns out to be a memorable one for the entire family. The wedding is a beautiful affair held in the barn on Gaby’s property. But the choice of her groom isn’t the only surprise they all receive on that Christmas day.

This was a heartwarming story of the love of family and how they all were reminded of the bonds they share and the strength they have as a family. That Christmas was a new beginning for Gaby and her new groom but turned out to be a new beginning for all of them, both as a family, and individually.