Saturday, December 19, 2009

Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story by Wally Lamb (Review)

Product Description
It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget.

LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy.

Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.

From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come.

My Thoughts:

I did not like this book as much as everyone else seems too. I think if you were a child or adult that remembers this time period you will enjoy it more but it did not resonate with me. I could not identify with most of the book. That said there were some funny parts. There were a few curse words and references to s*x stuff that made me uncomfortable. It is sorta a coming of age story of a fifth grade boy though with Christmas the main theme for the last half of the story only. The epilogue was completely political and unnecessary for the main plot line. The ending itself was satisfactory. I don't feel like I can recommend it for most of my blog readers. There is an audience for it and I think they will enjoy it. :)

1 comment:

Karen said...

I've only read one of Wally Lamb's books (She's Come Undone) and didn't enjoy it at all. I pretty much put him on my "won't be reading that author again" list. But this sounds like I might give him another try. I was young enough that I don't remember a lot about the 1960s, but since they were my formative years, they definitely had an impact on me. So, I've been looking for books set during this time period. Good review, Brittany.

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