The Hundred Gifts
By Jennifer Scott
Author’s website: http://www.jenniferscottauthor.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Kayt
The national bestselling author of The Sister Season shares a new novel about a woman who discovers the spirit of the season is truly in the giving….
With the holidays around the corner, empty-nester Bren Epperson realizes that for the first time in decades, she has no large family to cook for, no celebration to create. So she starts teaching a holiday cooking class, and it’s a hit—until Virginia Mash, the old lady upstairs, bursts in complaining. Rather than retaliate, Bren suggests that the class shower Virginia with kindness—and give her one hundred gifts. So they embark on the plan to lift a heart. Along the way, amidst the knitting and the making and the baking, they’ll discover the best gifts can’t be bought and family celebrations can be reborn.
CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED
The Hundred Gifts is a wonderful Christmas read and well written book in the genre of women’s fiction. Brenda (Bren) Epperson is facing her first Christmas as an empty nester. Her husband seems to be in the middle of a strange midlife crisis. Her children are flung to the far reaches of the world and do not seem the least bit upset to be missing Christmas at home. Bren is going through her days in a daze basically until she meets Paula. Paula has just rented part of a building in town and is going to open The Kitchen Classroom. She asks Bren is she could teach a class. Bren takes her up on the offer even though she has no idea what she is going to teach.
The women in the class are a wonderful eclectic group and their interaction with each other is hilarious. Bren is really every woman of a certain age. I laughed out loud, felt her pain, and enjoyed her wit. I am not an empty nester, but the author did a great job of expressing what Bren was going through. When the class starts, the reader meets the curmudgeon Virginia. Alone except for a dog Chuy, she is miserable and seems to want to stay that way. There is a lot to Virginia that is slowly introduced to the reader. It is heartbreaking and even as mean as Virginia is, I wanted to like her.
Virginia is doing her best to get the Classroom closed down. The ladies decided to beat Virginia with kindness and decide to give her 100 gifts. They try until the classroom is basically shut down. Yet Bren does not want to give up. There is also the conflicts at home for Bren to deal with. Her husband acts like she is not there, but one of his friends seems more than interested in taking up the slack. The hilarious outcome of that interaction is priceless. Bren is a funny character that is struggling with the changes in her life. Virginia is sad and angry. There are moments of tears and moments of laugh out loud.
The Hundred Gifts is a wonderful holiday read that can reach the readers heart at any time. As the story unfolds, so many emotions are touched on. The interaction of the women in class and even with Virginia are wonderful. The way Bren deals with her children and her husband are amusing. The writing is packed with layers of emotions. The ladies find that gifts of the heart are truly the best. When Bren’s children decide to come home (from Thailand) to celebrate a late Christmas, she seems to just blossom. This is a fun and emotional read that should be shared and even reread. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys emotion packed women’s fiction.