Romance/Women's Fiction

I read a romance because 2020 has been rough | Review of Mrs Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Mrs Miracle

If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that I never read romances. It’s the one genre that I’ve avoided my entire life. But 2020 has been no ordinary year. Although I can’t remember the last time I read a straight romance (apart from two Jane Austen novels that I found boring), I have seen several Hallmark films. They may be cheesy and contain terrible acting but I associate Hallmark films with the Christmas season. A few weeks ago, I suddenly got the urge to read a Christmas romance, in hopes of escaping from the darkness of the world (my research topic is also quite bleak – martyr narratives). At my university’s Barnes and Noble, I found a copy of Debbie Macomber’s 1996 novel Mrs Miracle. This was the first of her novels adapted by Hallmark.

Mrs Miracle was a fairly predictable novel, but for that reason, it was a comforting read. The plot revolves around three relationships: two romantic and one sibling. The story starts with Seth Webster, a widower with twins, who has no idea how to run a household. He has hired several housekeepers, but none of them have lasted more than a couple of months. After the most recent one quits, Seth learns from the hiring agency that there are no more housekeepers available. Yet suddenly, Emily Merkle arrives and offers her services to the Webster household. We soon discover that Mrs Miracle (as the twins call her) knows surprisingly a lot about Seth’s family and friends.

When Seth and Reba meet at the travel agency where Reba works, the two begin a relationship that forces them to confront their greatest insecurities. Reba has refused to see or speak with her sister for the past 4 years. Although her mother thinks that she should move on, Reba can never forgive her sister. Some wrongs are unforgiveable.

Despite a slow start, Mrs Miracle was a fairly engaging romance. It gave me all the feelings that I associate with Hallmark films. The romance is a bit dated – all-White cast, patriarchal family, Christmas pageant subplot – but I knew what I was getting myself into. The book met my expectations and was a fun, escapist read. I would really like to watch the Hallmark adaptation because Doris Roberts plays the title character.

Debbie Macomber seems like a delightful person. I have been binge-watching her interviews. I look forward to reading her most recent novels in the coming months.

Let me know if you have read something outside of your comfort zone in 2020. How was the experience?

If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher. – Mrs Miracle