Saturday, December 28, 2019

Book or Movie? "The Goodbye Bride"/"Christmas on My Mind"

While many of this year's Hallmark Christmas movies were based on books, I only read one of them—it's one that I first read years ago and then sped read right before the movie's premiere: Denise Hunter's The Goodbye Bride, which was adapted into Christmas on My Mind.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself. 
It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.
When I began reading, I was immediately swept into Lucy's story and the questions it brought up: how did Lucy lose her memory, who is her new fiance, and will her memory ever come back?

Lucy is such an incredibly likable character that I couldn't help but pull for her happily ever after. Hunter did a magnificent job of portraying Lucy's confusion, fear, and determination, and, due to Hunter's choice to let the audience in on Lucy's past only when Lucy learns about it herself, there's a sense of mystery and suspense that runs throughout the novel, adding another layer to the story.

The book reads more like one of Hallmark Movies & Mysteries' mystery movies than one of its Miracles of Christmas movies, so I figured significant changes to the plot would be made. I was right.

A bump on the head, an unexplained wedding dress and temporary short-term amnesia lead Lucy Lovett on a search for the truth about her breakup with longtime sweetheart Zach Callahan. She returns to Bedford Harbor, Maine for the town’s Christmas celebration and rediscovers the woman she used to be, what matters most, and that a Christmas miracle can bring back love thought to be lost forever.
Yeah, so about those changes ... while many of the basics remained the same—like names of characters and some occupations—much of the story is different. I get that Hallmark has a very specific brand, and several things from the book don't fit into that brand, but those things create a much richer and more touching story. One of the biggest changes is the reason for the breakup, and another big change is that Lucy's new fiance and Zac's "girlfriend" are both way too nice in the movie version. They've been "Hallmarked" 🤣. Also, in the book, Lucy has no one else, so she stays with Zac, which is difficult for both of them, and she has no money, so she works for Zac. In the movie, she has a house in town and appears to be quite wealthy, lowering the stakes for her personally.

If you look at the movie completely separately from the book, it's a decent, though ultimately middle-of-the-road, Christmas movie. Andrew Walker is charming as always, and he and Ashley Greene have great chemistry. I enjoyed the movie, but I probably won't watch it again, unless it's just on in the background.

So ...

Book or Movie?

Book. 100%. (Book: 5 stars; Movie: 3 stars)

Buy the book. (affiliate link)
Read my review of The Goodbye Bride.

Did you read The Goodbye Bride or watch Christmas on My Mind? What did you think?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I watched part of the movie, but lost interest in it and didn't finish it. Since there are soooo many Hallmark movies, I don't watch the whole thing if I don't think it's great. But now you do have me interested in the book!!

    1. That is definitely the way to do it with the Christmas movies! SO MANY!!! The book is so much better than the movie--I hope you'll give it a try!


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