Three Holidays and a Wedding

Uzma Jalaluddin & Marissa Stapley

Nalini Singh is forever listed, never resisted, by yours truly. To be truthful, she does not stay on the TBR list long either. She writes. I read. Simplest book math there is.

Nalini, though, does a bit more than write. She is also, by her own admission, a voracious reader, who has excellent taste. Usually she shares the books she enjoys via her newsletter. (You should sign up.) In her November newsletter, she recommended this book. 

Three Holidays and a Wedding. 

And I quote, “I told my sister that it was like reading a holiday movie – and the triple celebration aspect of it gave it that little something different that caught my imagination and my heart. Definitely put this on your holiday reading list!”

When Nalini gives a recommendation like that, you all already know the book is being added to my list and being read sooner rather than later. 

Naturally, Nalini’s words proved true!

This book felt like eating warm cookies with ponche de crème (the yummier, Caribbean version of eggnog) on a chilly day, cozy, under a soft, fuzzy blanket. It also had that ‘Love Actually’ quality to it. The will they, won’t they? The should they? And the awww yes as it all comes together. 

Frankly, Hallmark, Harlequin, Netflix, and Lifetime should all be trying to outbid one another for the rights to make this into a seasonal movie. 

In case it is not obvious, I loved it.

Let me tell you why.

In the book, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan all fall within days of one another. Gifts, baking ingredients, and plane tickets are now all scarce. Everyone is elated, but stressed out. That is the backdrop of this story about two women from very different backgrounds meeting and supporting each other, literally, when they thought they were going to die. Stress induced friendship to the max! 

Maryam is a dutiful first-born daughter of a traditional Muslim family. She works in her father’s pharmacy, does all she can to please everyone in the family and the community. With her mom, dad, grandfather, and baby sister, all pulling for her attention, this is a lot. Maryam is the organised one, the one who shows up, the one who takes care of every disaster and annoying detail. Which is why when her sister decides she has to get married right now, at the end of Ramadan, Maryam is the one charged with making it happen. Of course, every detail has to be exactly as her baby sister wants it. Alongside all of this, Maryam also happens to be carrying several secrets, some painful and heartbreaking, others she chokes down, hoping no one will remember they once existed, including herself.

Anna has lost her family, but has a wealthy, ticks all the boxes new boyfriend, who does not allow her to be sad about anything. At all. Nothing is ever a problem. Every single thing is rainbows and sunshine all the time. This perfect specimen of manhood has invited her to spend Christmas, even though she celebrates Hanukkah, with his family. Anna also has a great job, with a demanding, high-strung boss. A boss who needs you to always be available at every moment for work. But every thing is fine, this is all great and truly the dream Anna had for herself growing up. She will make it work. She just has to be organised. 

From the outside, these two women are leading vastly different lives and traveling paths that would never, ever intersect.

Dun dun da-dun, until… they end up next to each other on a plane headed to Toronto in winter. 

Now here are the fun oops moments that guide us into the mesmerizing drama.

Mere winter becomes the storm of the decade. The plane to Toronto hits massive turbulence, which makes Maryam and Anna cling to each other and start making some, only to be heard during a near death experience, confessions. Maryam’s own includes a crush she had when she was much younger, and that guy, the one she had a crush on and just revealed said crush about, is sitting right behind her as she blurts it out. The icing on this disaster cake is that the plane has to make an emergency landing in a town far from everywhere, so they can ride out the massive storm. There is one inn, and the town itself is where all of our favorite Christmas movies are filmed.

Can you see how marvelously all of this chaos will bubble together?

You have to read this book.

You have to meet Dadu. 

You have to meet the handsome, but down-to-earth movie star.

You have to meet the sweet as sugar apple townspeople.

You have to read this and let your heart turn into absolute MUSH!

‘Tis the season!

Three Holidays and a Wedding will make you laugh, cry, cringe, reflect, and go hug your family. Which, if we are being honest, is what this time of year is all about, right?

These two women, written by two women, will take you through some deep feelings and anxious thoughts. They will also remind you not only does the heart want what it wants, but your heart, your true heart, is your best and most trustworthy guiding light.

Get into the holiday spirit with this book and then comment and let me know just how much you also love Dadu!


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