The Santa Suit
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This is a quick little read during the busy holiday season. Obviously it is full of Christmas but somehow I still felt it missed the mark on stirring up the Christmas spirit within me. Page references are from the Large Print version.
On a scale of 1 - 5 (5 being a lot of examples/instances):
Sex - a "passionate embrace" (Ch. 15, LP Pg. 162-63) closed door sex with minor language (friggin') and "naked" (Ch. 24, LP Pg. 242) "Again" (Ch. 25, LP Pg. 243)
Religion - a character refers to loved ones who have died as being in Heaven (LP Pg. 218) a reference to the Methodist auxiliary
Suspense - who knocked on the door at the end of Ch. 17. when Ivy led Cody to Phoebe (Ch. 20)
Morality - a couple has sex before they've really had even one proper date (Ch. 24, LP Pg. 242)
Traditional - respect for traditional family is consistent
Even though I read this in a short span of five days, I felt like some things weren't connecting and i had to flip back and review. For example, on LP page 63 Ivy tells Phoebe "no movers" and on LP page 104 Ivy explains her furniture was "waylaid". It seems like they would have discussed it more the first time around. And when certain characters were revealed, even though I expected them to show up eventually, at the end of Ch. 21 (LP Pg. 229) I thought I might need to go back and reread some parts to see if I'd remembered it correctly, but I kept reading and it was reviewed enough for me with the phrase "after you left".
Ivy was surprised when she finally met Ezra in person. (Ch. 1, LP Pg. 10) Tell of a time you were surprised by someone's actual appearance after knowing them only via phone or electronic communication.
Was there a Christmas house that you remember from your childhood like the townspeople remembered the Four Roses? (ref. Ch. 4)
Have you ever had a moving fiasco, like lost furniture?
Ivy was instantly suspicious. What were your predictions about Cody and Phoebe?
What's the best thing you've ever found in an attic?
Ivy said, "no show, no call" when she found the note and bottle of wine. (Ch. 18, LP Pg. 183) Do you count it as a "show" or not since, clearly, he did arrive at the door with a bottle of wine?
Phoebe's "granddad used to say, arguing with Gran is like trying to fart into a tornado." (Ch. 19, LP Pg. 194)
What sayings do you remember from your granddad?
Invite guests to wear Santa suits or have a Christmas costume contest.
Have a scarf exchange in honor of the scarf Lawrence Jones gave Ivy. (Ch. 19, LP Pg. 199)
Give your guests mezuzahs like Ivy found in Ch. 4.
Decorate with a large tree with C9 lights, silver-tinseled garland and Shiny Brite ornaments or give an ornament to your guests as a keepsake.
Decorate with pink, yellow, coral and white roses like Ivy imagined she'd have one day. (beg. Ch. 5) Also use camellias. (LP Pg. 49) Daisies were Phoebe's favorite flower. (LP Pg. 68) Cody sent Phoebe a potted pointsettia at work. (Ch. 13, LP Pg. 147)
Decorate Phoebe and Ivy style with boughs of cypress, magnolia, and red-berried holly and white tallow berries. Include sterling candlesticks in honor of the ones Ivy lost or utility candles in jelly jars as she used instead. (LP Pg. 181)
Decorate with gingerbread men cutouts. (Ch. 21)
Use Christmas china (Ch. 15, LP Pg. 157), especially if there is a reindeer in the middle and red and green holly leaves around the edges. Ivy also had 12 Days of Christmas tumblers and some plates with woodland creatures such as a rabbit, fox, squirrel, red bird and owl.
Include the Tarlburton town traditions of caroling, a bonfire and hot cocoa. (Ch. 12, LP Pg. 134)
Kung pao chicken, egg rolls, pie, coffee, and broken candy canes like Ivy remembered from her 6-year old visit to the mall santa. (Ch. 2, LP Pg. 27)
Coffee, baked pork chop, baked apples, collard greens and a biscuit instead of corn bread like Ivy had at the cafe. (Ch. 3, LP Pg. 35) She also considered a club or hot roast beef sandwiches.
"S'mores Butterscotch Caramel Choco Dump Cake" like Mrs. Huddleston gave Ivy (end Ch. 4, LP Pg. 48)
Fresh corn and tomatoes like Ivy saw evidence of in the garden. (LP Pg. 50)
a dessert bar with all Ezra's favorites: birthday cake, pumpkin pie and Easter peeps. (LP Pg. 56)
Coffee, grits, biscuits, bacon and eggs like Ivy ordered on her second visit to The Coffee Cup, when she had no propane. (Ch. 6, LP Pg. 63)
a candy bar including: Carlette's favorite candy - cellophane wrapped dark chocolate peppermints (Ch. 7, LP Pg. 82) I could not find a Langley's candy company online that might be a match, but the specific candy was "Dark Chocolate Peppery-Mint Patties." (LP Pg. 84) Phoebe's grandma liked the cinnamon twists (LP Pg. 102). Ivy sampled peppermint fudge when she went to the shop. (LP Pg. 90) Dark chocolate sea salt caramels and red-hot chewies like Harlowe Banks liked. (Ch. 14, LP Pg. 151)
Coffee, hard-boiled eggs, lettuce, chicken and dumplings and green beans with bacon like Phoebe and Ivy ate the third time Ivy saw Phoebe at the cafe.
Hot cocoa, wine, bourbon, eggnog and popcorn like Ivy offered after they re-built the chicken coop. (CH. 10, LP Pg. 116-17)
Homemade vegetable soup and corn muffins like Phoebe brought from her mom when she brought a tree to Ivy. (Ch. 17, LP Pg. 176)
Cheese and crackers, soup and wine like Ivy ate when she was not brooding about Ezra. (LP Pg. 181)
Frosted and decorated Christmas cookies, like Phoebe gave Ivy to take to Lawrence Jones (LP Pg. 196), with cocoa like the Methodist ladies auxiliary (LP Pg. 194)
hot pretzels, like the Rotarians, and doughnuts, like the Boy Scouts (at the Christmas Stroll) (Ch. 20, LP Pg. 209)
gingerbread men (Ch. 21)
Bourbon on the rocks in a jelly jar like Ezra drank after the stroll. Ivy drank wine. (Ch. 24, LP Pg. 239)
"a happy waitress": melt butter in skillet, toast bread, add slab of cheddar cheese, tomato slice and two pieces of bacon, serve open-faced. (Ch. 24, LP Pg. 240)
Christmas music, like when Ivy arrived at the farm (Ch. 1, LP Pg. 7)
Classical music like Ivy imagined listening to on the porch. (Ch. 1, LP Pg. 8)
"White Christmas" barbershop style (Ch. 21, LP Pg. 217)
"Silent Night" like Ivy suggested Lawrence's wife and son were singing in Heaven (LP Pg. 218)