Saccharine story of a candy queen.
Loretta Cisco (from the paperback No Place Like Home) is distraught. She believes in counting her blessings, but her grown grandkids (triplets) haven’t been happy lately and won’t tell her why. And just like that, her beloved little house in rural Pennsylvania is wiped out by a tornado! Fortunately, live-in love Ezra got her, himself, and their dogs into the root cellar seconds before it struck and whirled away a lifetime of memories. Unflappable to a fault, Ezra says he wouldn’t be surprised if the whole town turns out to rebuild the place, seeing that Loretta moved Cisco Candies to Larkspur from New York and provided employment for so many local folks. But all that’s left is this old electric teakettle, whines Loretta, who feels she can’t go on. Hey, no one can take away your memories, replies Ezra. They learn that seven people died but—what a relief—the teakettle still works when they plug it in! Sara and Hannah, Loretta’s granddaughters, arrive, wringing their hands over the misfortune but unwilling to confide their suspicions about their husbands’ working-late-tonight-honey excuses. Their brother, good-natured Sam, shows up shortly afterward. His pregnant wife (sister of Hannah’s husband) just left him. What next? Not exactly heartwarming scenes of old family grievances dragged forth, chewed over, and tied up with a red ribbon in a tacked-on ending.
Christmas? An afterthought. But Michaels’s millions of uncritical fans won’t care.