@Home for the Holidays

Meredith Efken, Author . Steeple Hill Caf $13.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-373-78570-4

Like its predecessor, Sahm I Am , this charming holiday novel tracks the e-mail correspondence of a group of stay-at-home moms. As Christmas approaches, their stress levels increase exponentially, but they have friendship and much laughter to sustain them. The women deal with humorous things, like children who get Polly Pockets shoes lodged up their noses, but also with weighty issues: unemployment, decreased sex drive, infertility, cheating spouses and the ups and downs of both pregnancy and adoption. Efken nails the characters' various voices and keeps the pacing brisk, lacing some uproariously funny moments amid the ladies' virtual sturm und drang. Her skillful satire of Rosalyn, the self-righteous and controlling list moderator whose own family is secretly falling apart, is delicious, and she offers a balanced and loving take on gender roles, faith and child-rearing. Both stay-at-home and working Christian moms will recognize their struggles here, and feel the novel's lighthearted humor lessening their load. (Oct. 24)

Reviewed on: 08/28/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
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