Discussion: The Holiday Swap

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Hello friends! We made it to the end of another month of reading together and I am just so grateful for all of you who join us month in and month out. And if you’re new to book club, I am thrilled to have you joining us for the first time! Sharing uplifting, fun books with you is one of my absolute favorite parts of my job. This month has been no exception reading The Holiday Swap, it totally got me into the holiday baking mood and I could not have loved the small town setting anymore! I can’t wait to dig in to the comments with you and discuss it.

Discussion: The Holiday Swap
Discussion: The Holiday Swap

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Discussion Questions

can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
The Holiday Swap - My Favorite Holiday Reads

1.

I loved reading about everything the sisters were baking in this book. Did it inspire you to get in the kitchen at all? Tell me about it!

2.

What did you think about Charlie coming home to Starlight Peak? Would you want to live in your hometown? What do you think about life in a big city versus a small town?

3.

I thought it was fascinating that only by stepping into each other’s lives did each of these women get clarity on their own lives. What do you do when you need a fresh perspective?

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14 comments
  1. 1. Absolutely! I finished this book around Thanksgiving and I found myself wanting lemon bars – definitely not a normal Thanksgiving dessert haha

    2. I can relate to Charlie – she wanted out of Starlight Peak but gained a new appreciation for her hometown whenever she returned. Each time I travel back home I find myself appreciating the slower pace of small town life. I do not want to live in my hometown because I enjoy so many conveniences living in a larger urban setting. I think small towns are great to grow up in and it makes me really appreciate my childhood however I would not want to go back to small town living permanently

    3. A fresh perspective always comes to me when I get out in nature – a day at the beach, a hike on the local trails, or even just a walk around the block to clear my head all help me so much!

  2. 1.
    I loved reading about everything the sisters were baking in this book. Did it inspire you to get in the kitchen at all? Tell me about it!

    Yes! I’m here for all the baking this time of year. This book made me want to bake homemade bread–I think that will be at the top of my to-do list this weekend, now that Thanksgiving cooking is over.

    2.
    What did you think about Charlie coming home to Starlight Peak? Would you want to live in your hometown? What do you think about life in a big city versus a small town?

    I have a couple of ‘hometowns’ and my love and nostalgia for them is HIGH. I could easily live in either of them although they’re currently a little too far from my parents and in-laws. They’re both the perfect medium size–plenty to do but still with a small, sweet feeling.

    3.
    I thought it was fascinating that only by stepping into each other’s lives did each of these women get clarity on their own lives. What do you do when you need a fresh perspective?

    So interesting to me that living as someone else brought things into focus for Cass and Charlie. For me, alone time is key. Walks and reading are super clarifying for me!

  3. 1. I love stories that are about the passion for cooking, baking or wine making. I come from the gastronomy/hotel industry and stories like this always make me a little nostalgic.
    As the book was not yet available in Germany, I bought it as an audio book and listened to it during my practice sessions for my (Christmas) wedding cake. It was a PERFECT fit!

    2. Charlie got a great chance to do her job in her home town, I guess she wouldn’t have been happy otherwise in the long run, something would have been missing.
    I come from Frankfurt, which is a bigger city and very anonymous. My fiancé always says I see life in a small town through rose-coloured glasses, because I imagine it’s wonderful to have such a sense of community, you know lots of people, organise village festivals, have a little house with a garden…. But he says (he comes from a village of 300 people) that he is so happy to live in the city. you have your privacy, no one feels offended if you don’t say hello to him in stressful situations and above all there is not all the drama.
    I think a small city would be a good compromise haha.

    3. I thought it was great how the two of them could find themselves again through a different perspective and some distance on their lives.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have a twin sister to do this with, but when I need a clear head, I go for a bike ride, I pack food for the day and pick a route where I’ll be out for a few hours. Without headphones/music, just alone with me and my thoughts. It was hard for me at first, because nature doesn’t distract you the whole time and you have to deal with yourself at some point. But because it’s such a relaxed atmosphere, it doesn’t stress me out as much.

  4. 1. Yes! Loved the baking element of this story. I made a sourdough starter during quarantine and bread making has become a new hobby. But I’m planning on making some Christmas cookies this weekend.

    2. I loved the small town feel in this book. Mainly because I’ve never lived anywhere like that. My parents have moved away from where I grew up so I don’t go home to somewhere nostalgic. One of the quotes on the back of the book mentioned Gilmore Girls, so I pictured Stars Hollow. Haha.

    3. I liked that things got a little messy before it all came together in the end. You gotta go through it to get to the other side. Talking to my sister or best friend always gives me a different perspective on things.

  5. 1. Yes! I love to bake, but I’m gluten intolerant. This book made me NEED sourdough bread, so I found a GF sourdough recipe that I plan to make this weekend!

    2. I live 8 hours from my hometown. I used to think I’d never want to move back, but now as I have my own family, sometimes I really long to be closer to my childhood home!

    3. I thought this book was so sweet overall. I’m finding as life gets crazier and crazier, I want storylines that are just like this. For me, when I need a different perspective, I need time alone to clear my head— usually a walk or run or a coffee date by myself!

  6. 1. I loved reading about everything the sisters were baking in this book. Did it inspire you to get in the kitchen at all? Tell me about it!

    YES – I honestly want to try my hand at bread making now! But right after I finished this book I whipped up Spiced Apple Coffee Cake and it was delicious!

    2. What did you think about Charlie coming home to Starlight Peak? Would you want to live in your hometown? What do you think about life in a big city versus a small town?

    I loved it! Felt very “Hallmark” to me and honestly, what’s not to love about that. I live about 45 minutes from my hometown which is very small, and I love that I can bounce back and forth! Just like Charlie, I get the best of both worlds!

    3. I thought it was fascinating that only by stepping into each other’s lives did each of these women get clarity on their own lives. What do you do when you need a fresh perspective?

    I really liked this part of the story. It was obvious that both women weren’t able to see what the other was going through without stepping into each other’s shoes… which happens to us all. I think it’s a really great reminder!

  7. Like most books, I thought this wrapped up a little too nicely. That said, i really enjoyed the melding of Charlie and Cass’s lives with a reality show! I also wish I could have a recipe to starlight bread!

    • This was my first book in the book club and I loved it! I actually listen to the book on audible while doing a long drive for work and couldn’t of had a more fun time listening about the sisters and their lives, baking, and love. As a baker myself, it definitely inspired some holiday treats! As a sister, it hit home as there is nothing like a sisterly bond. Thanks for sharing a great read, Ashley!

      • 1. The book definitely makes you want to get into the kitchen! Started my holiday baking with homemade dog treats for my dog & all his neighbor dog friends. Would love to figure out how to get a sourdough starter & make sourdough bread!

        2. Love that Charlie went back & saw her hometown with a new perspective. I live in the suburbs & enjoy a smaller town feel where we live every day, but love that in a half hour we can be in the city & enjoy all that it has to offer. It’s really the best of both worlds!

        3. Enjoyed that by switching they saw each other in a different light, but it also helped them think about their own lives – they had each been going through the motions of their daily lives and were stuck in roles that didn’t necessarily make them happy. Doing more what they thought was expected of them.
        Think the best thing to bring me perspective is a daily devotional. It can help remind me what’s truly important-especially this time of year.

        Enjoyed the book & think it would make a great Hallmark movie!! Can’t wait to see what you pick for December Ashley!

        Really enjoyed the book

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