Snelling, Lauraine. 2008. One Perfect Day.
Two families. One will receive a Christmas miracle; the other will experience a Christmas tragedy. Nora Peterson has two seniors getting ready to graduate from high school--twins, one boy, one girl. Jenna Montgomery has a daughter, Heather, who is dying and needs a heart transplant. (She's just twenty and has been sick most of her life.) One child will live, one will die. Both families want this Christmas to be perfect. Nora because she somewhat naively believes this will her family's last Christmas together since they will be off for college the next year. Jenna because she knows that unless a transplant comes through this will be--no question about it--the very last Christmas with her daughter. Each day Heather struggles just to breathe.
One Perfect Day chronicles the lives of two families--though the two never meet--as they celebrate and mourn. It's a story of hope and despair, love and loss, and redemption.
I don't know about other readers--so I could be alone here--but I never felt a connection with the Peterson family. Nora and Gordon. Christi and Charlie. It didn't matter if it was before, during or after...I just never felt this family was real or genuine. I felt Nora to be a bit plastic, a bit going through the motions, even before the tragedy strikes. Gordon, again, felt disconnected from his family. Like he wasn't really present in his home, in his relationships. I generally felt that the family was broken on the inside before they became broken on the outside.
The Montgomery family, on the other hand, was vital from the very beginning. I felt that Jenna and Heather and Uncle Randy were alive, authentic, genuine, sincere. Their family, their story resonated. I cared for them from the start.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews