Christmas Dinner is the finale of the Hattiesville Trilogy. It picks up immediately where the second episode ends. The first installment, The Wedding Party, introduces the readers to the characters and the fictional town of Hattiesville, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina. It ends with an unanswered question and disturbing news. Absent… One from Another picks up three years later, answers the question, and introduces a few new characters whose lives are entangled in the lives of characters we already know.
Christmas Dinner wraps it up, and ties it neatly with a bow. But the package is full of heartbreak, revelation, contemplation, regrets, lies, and even love. The theme throughout the story is relationships and how fragile they can be, the importance of nurturing them, and the importance of making good decisions. The characters we have come to love are in the midst of past loves, past hurts, kidnapping, terminal illness and sibling rivalry, and show us their resolve. But this not necessarily “happily ever after” … the story and the trilogy end with a surprise.