"For Maggie Arnaud and her siblings, childhood Christmases meant lavish feasts and beloved rituals. The day began with hot chocolate and cougnole de Noel--the sweet, rich bread traditional in their parents' native Belgium. Since their mother's death, their father has grown distant. But now, he has summoned his grown children once again. Jacqueline is an opera singer living in Brussels--outwardly successful but yearning for a deeper fulfillment. Near Philadelphia, cookbook writer Maggie's career and marriage are in turmoil. Colette, an aspiring clothing designer in California, lost her boyfriend and her savings in one blow. And roving younger brother Art is still searching for something--or someone. Armed with their insecurities, rivalries--and their mother's most delicious recipes--the Arnauds gather again to share memories, reveal secrets, and rekindle their bond."