I tend to approach Christmas titles with a little bit of trepidation. They are usually cheesy romantic stories that are designed solely to make money, and when I see them looking at me from the supermarket shelf, I tend to steer clear.
But when I was sent On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts to review, I thought it was time I gave this sort of thing a chance. On the whole, it was quite enjoyable – there was no cheesy romance, and the story was certainly one that got me thinking!
Joy and Laura are members of a knitting group, and when they realise that there husbands aren’t pulling their weight at Christmas, they decide to go on strike. For Laura, a young mum, she is fed up with her husband inviting the world to their house for holiday parties without helping her out at all; she prepares the food, she takes care of the children, she entertains the guests and she tidies up, while her husband Glen sits back and enjoys the party. Joy has a different problem; her husband is a bit of Grinch – he is more than happy to let her arrange everything, but when it comes to the large family gatherings that she loves, he complains and insists they leave early. By going on strike, Joy hopes that Bob will realise that the parties and festivities are what make Christmas special.
Whilst not claiming to a feminist tome, or even a serious look at gender politics, On Strike at Christmas certainly has something to say about the way men and women approach the holiday season. At times I felt as though these ideas were approached with a bit of a heavy hand, with fairly broad strokes being used, but ultimately I was able to sink into the story and enjoy it, and care about the characters enough to enjoy the denouement.
On Strike for Christmas
First published: December 2014
Review copy provided by publisher