Right before Thanksgiving, a freak tornado descends on Larkspur, the small town in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains where matriarch and candy magnate Loretta Cisco -- affectionately called "Cisco" by her grandchildren -- lives, and levels the home she's inhabited for fifty years.
Then there's more bad news: Cisco's beloved triplet grandchildren, Hannah, Sara, and Sam, all newlyweds, are experiencing marital problems and they refuse to confide in their grandmother about what's wrong. Sam's wife, Sonia, has left him, and Hannah and Sara fear that their husbands are having affairs. Why else would they be coming home so late every night and seem to be keeping secrets?
As the citizens of Larkspur help to rebuild Cisco's home in time for Christmas, she vows to work a holiday miracle that will hold her family together.
With Family Blessings Fern Michaels uses her keen insight into the emotional bonds between family members and the passions that bring men and women together to create an enduring novella that celebrates love, family, and forgiveness, and shows why she is one of the world's best-loved storytellers.
Fanciful premises and implausible turns of events are the stuff Christmas fiction is made of, but Michaels takes matters too far in this contrived sequel to her 2002 Christmas novella, No Place Like Home, basing her story on a misunderstanding that could be cleared up in a 10-second conversation. Sara and Hannah, two of the three Cisco triplets, are perturbed that their hubbies are coming home later and later, and immediately become convinced that they're having affairs. The truth? Hapless Zack and Joel have bought an expensive boat to sail around the world and are afraid to tell their wives. Sonia, wife of third triplet Sam, has just left her husband why? He's not ready to start a family, and she's accidentally pregnant. Does she simply tell him? Of course not. The six lovebirds bumble around misunderstanding each other against the backdrop of cozy, homey Larkspur, Pa., where neighbors help the triplets' grandmother rebuild her tornado-destroyed home. The flimsy premise and artificial drama suck all the charm out of the story, and while Michaels's devoted fans might pick it up out of habit, this soggy tale will frustrate most.