Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners
by Gretchen Anthony
Pub Date 16 Oct 2018
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Dearest loved ones, far and near—evergreen tidings from the Baumgartners!
Violet Baumgartner has opened her annual holiday letter the same way for the past three decades. And this year she’s going to throw her husband, Ed, a truly perfect retirement party, one worthy of memorializing in her upcoming letter. But the event becomes a disaster when, in front of two hundred guests, Violet learns her daughter Cerise has been keeping a shocking secret from her, shattering Violet’s carefully constructed world.
In an epic battle of wills, Violet goes to increasing lengths to wrest back control of her family, infuriating Cerise and snaring their family and friends in a very un-Midwestern, un-Baumgartner gyre of dramatics. And there will be no explaining away the consequences in this year’s Baumgartner holiday letter…
Full of humor, emotion and surprises at every turn, Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners brings to life a remarkable cast of quirky, deeply human characters who must learn to adapt to the unconventional, or else risk losing one another. This is the story of a family falling to pieces—and the unexpected way they put it all back together.
“This delightfully clever debut is a masterfully written, Wes Anderson-esque roller coaster ride through a series of self-made disasters in a hilariously dysfunctional family. Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners hits all the right notes; you’ll double over with laughter, but you’ll also find yourself at times misty-eyed and introspective. I have the feeling this is just the first of many skilled and heartfelt dramedies from the pen of talented newcomer Gretchen Anthony. If you’re a fan of modern film classics such as The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, get ready to meet your new favorite book.” —Kristin Harmel, bestselling author of The Life Intended
"Gretchen Anthony deftly captures all of the passive-aggression, generosity, humblebragging, kindness, emotional restraint, and humor typical to a Minnesota family. A propulsive and endearing debut." —J. Ryan Stradal, New York Times bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest
“Meddling matriarch Violet Baumgartner doesn’t intend to create drama; she just wants everyone to behave the way they should, which is her way. In writing about this endearing, engaging (and at times, exasperating) family, Gretchen Anthony has created an E-ticket ride of a novel, full of twists and turns, and laughs that don’t let up. Whee!” —Lorna Landvik, bestselling author of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
“Gretchen Anthony knows what makes the people of the America’s heartland hilarious, lovable, and worth reading about. In Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners, we see a family wrestling with change—but unwilling to give up past traditions of keeping secrets and telling white lies without a fight. Anthony is a breath of fresh air, and the Baumgartners will make you roll your eyes and giggle in recognition of the quirkiness of family.” —Ann Garvin, bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
“Gretchen Anthony's debut is a non-stop delight of a novel peopled with characters that are sure to entertain. Violet Baumgartner and her hilarious family are part of a different world—one that once I entered, I didn't want to leave. A literary joy from beginning to end!” —Anita Hughes, author of Christmas in London and California Summer