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But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from Québec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kapakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas.
From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been - and how far we've come.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Kathi on 11-16-16
I've read several novels by Wally Lamb, and while I loved them, they were more serious and heavy in theme and presentation. This was such a delightful surprise. It simply demonstrates how versatile a writer Lamb is.
I guess this is a combination coming of age and Christmas comedy. Felix Funicello, who is distantly related to Annette Funicello--of Mickey Mouse, etc, fame, is still a bit of an innocent when the story takes place. His peers are beginning to get a bit more informed and sophisticated, so part of the amusement comes from realizing we were all, at some point in our lives, caught between being in the know, and sort of out of it at the same time. Felix attempts to act as though he understands things still a bit over his head, while often not really getting all the innuendoes of things said around him. But the plot is so funny! When the nun who is his teacher has a nervous breakdown in class, she is replaced by a sexy French-speaking lay teacher in a catholic school in the 60's, and the scene is set for lots of laughing. The end of the book is just laugh out loud hilarious.
The narration was pitch perfect, the story was great, so don't be put off by the short length of the book. Worth every bit of the credit, and then some! I loved it!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Paula Beck on 02-13-11
Laughing Out Loud
I was pleasantly surprised by this little book...I haven't read any of Wally Lamb's others. Since I grew up in the same time and vicinity as the narrator, this book rang so true to me. Nothing like growing up Catholic!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful