How the In-Laws Wrecked Christmas by Fiona Gibson


Publishing year: 2014

This is a short Christmasy story.

It is about Anna, a primary school teacher, who lives with four friends together with whom she bought the house where they live. There are two young men and women: Tom, Jamie, Kate, and Anna. In the story Anna has been dating Ben for five months. Ben is divorced and has a little girl, Daisy, who Anna loves. Ben has invited Anna to spend Christmas with him and his parents, who are really wealthy and live in a big mansion. From the first we see the differences between Anna and Ben’s parents. Clara, Ben’s mother, is clearly disapproving of Anna, who is just an ordinary girl and not from their class. Anna feels out of her depth here. The only joy she has is Daisy, but Ben’s parents are not very welcoming. Ben is not very warm to her either. When Anna feels a bit uneasy to see Ben’s wedding photograph, he dismisses her concerns. As the day progresses, Anna feels more and more awkward. Any suggestion about Daisy is received with coldness. Things come to head when she overhears Ben and his mother. Clara is concerned about her son’s relationship with Anna, and he implies that Anna is nothing more than a fling, and Clara is also worried that Anna might get pregnant. I imagine that she thinks that Anna is a gold digger and wants to trap her son, but Ben assures her that he will never have a child with Anna.

Anna feels gutted and miserable, missing her three housemates, especially Jamie, who she seems to have a closer relationship with. Even though there is a party in the house, Anna can’t shed the words she heard, so she goes to bed. It is later taht she is woken up quite abruptly by Ben, who accuses of being really rude to leave like that. Anna tries to explain what she overheard, but Ben doesn’t even explain himself and turns his back to her. So in the middle of the night, she sneaks away as Jamie has driven all the way from London to pick her up. In the car she falls into his arms and even kisses him, and she confesses that she is pregnant, which would have been Ben’s surprise. Anna states she will have this baby on her own, but Jamie assures she won’t be alone. That is the end of the story. We don’t know if Anna tells Ben about the baby or if they talk at all. In any case, it was a nice story I enjoyed. Quite sweet in some way.


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