Of all the Christmas novels by Debbie Macomber that I have read so far, The Christmas Spirit, her latest, is the only one that I have read in the year it was published. I was hoping for a better read after her disappointing Dear Santa, but unfortunately I have read two Debbie duds in a row.
In The Christmas Spirit two friends decide to change places at work during the hectic week before Christmas. Peter is a pastor and Hank manages a bar, so there should be comedy in the idea of a pastor dealing with rowdy drunkards and a bartender handling self-righteous parishioners, but I couldn’t raise a smile to any of it. The two are overwhelmed with work rather than prone to making comical missteps. A biker gang (with stereotypical member nicknames like Snake and Switchblade) and local strippers frequent the bar and Peter wins them all over. Macomber made the sight of a decorated tree sound foreign to one of the strippers. Really? Does she think that such an entertainer wouldn’t have seen a Christmas tree festooned with lights before? She might even have one set up in her own home:
“When Kitten entered the tavern, she covered her mouth with both hands. ‘Lucy, look, a Christmas tree with lights and everything.'”
Totally unbelievable dialogue. The bikers and strippers even show up for Peter’s Christmas Eve church service. Oh please. I did not get the idea that Peter had the power of persuasion to bring these people to church.
I will lay off the Macomber festive fiction for a little while and embark on a different novel with a Christmas theme.