Bam! Just cranking out the tours and reviews!
Thanks to Park Row Books and TLC Book Tours for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS – Gretchen Anthony (out now)
A formidable matriarch learns the hard way that no family is perfect in this witty, sparkling debut novel
Dearest loved ones, far and near—evergreen tidings from the Baumgartners!
Violet Baumgartner has opened her annual holiday letter the same way for the past three decades. And this year she’s going to throw her husband, Ed, a truly perfect retirement party, one worthy of memorializing in her upcoming letter. But the event becomes a disaster when, in front of two hundred guests, Violet learns her daughter Cerise has been keeping a shocking secret from her, shattering Violet’s carefully constructed world.
In an epic battle of wills, Violet goes to increasing lengths to wrest back control of her family, infuriating Cerise and snaring their family and friends in a very un-Midwestern, un-Baumgartner gyre of dramatics. And there will be no explaining away the consequences in this year’s Baumgartner holiday letter…
Full of humor, emotion and surprises at every turn, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners brings to life a remarkable cast of quirky, deeply human characters who must learn to adapt to the unconventional, or else risk losing one another. This is the story of a family falling to pieces—and the unexpected way they put it all back together.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars!
Not only did the synopsis catch my attention, but the second I learned this took place in Minnesota, I knew I needed to pick this one up! EVERGREEN TIDINGS FROM THE BAUMGARTNERS by Gretchen Anthony was a refreshing read to break up all of the thrillers I’ve been flying through lately. The Midwestern feel, mannerisms, and the settings were perfect.
We all have those family members or friends that love to go overboard with their holiday letters/cards. I can think of at least three different family members that do this – those letters that take days to perfect (sometimes weeks) to show off how wonderful and accomplished your family is. This is no different for Violet Baumgartner.
Her husband, Ed, is retiring soon. So Violet plans to throw the most extravagant party for her friends and family to attend. Things start get crazy almost instantly. Someone drops a bombshell announcement at the party and it flips Violet’s world upside down as she tries to maintain her picture-perfect family.
I don’t want to go into too much detail on all the insanity, but needless to say, this book has it’s fair share of family dysfunction and madness. Come on, what family doesn’t though? There was plenty of hilarious and cringe-worthy moments to go around and I’m shocked that this is a debut novel!
Anthony does an incredible job developing all of these character and giving them their own unique voices. I loved the dynamics between everyone – family relationships are complicated and dysfunctional and I believe that Anthony captured all of this perfectly. Everyone’s relation to Violet had a different dynamic and a different feel to it. I have definitely met some Violet’s in my life already! There’s not doubt about it, I’ll be picking up more from Anthony in the future.
About the Author:
Gretchen Anthony is a Minnesota-based writer and humorist whose work has been featured on scarymommy.com, medium.com and thewritelife.com. She’s also spent decades as a ghostwriter and has written for some of the best personal brands in the United States, from CEOs to doctors and start-up superstars to BBQ pros. Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners is her first novel.
Connect with Gretchen
Where to Purchase a Copy: