“The Holiday Trap,” by Roan Parrish. Copyright 2022, Sourcebooks Casablanca (440 pages, $16.00).

The Holiday Trap by Roan Parrish

Content Warning: Emotional abuse, sexual content, chronic illness.

If you’re a fan of the Christmas movie, The Holiday, then you’ll love Roan Parrish’s novel The Holiday Trap with its queer and modern spin on the concept of house swapping for the holidays.

We open with Greta, who loves her family (even if they are trying to set her up for an auctioned date with a man) and her tiny hometown in Maine but needs space away from everything in order to figure out who she is and what she needs from her life. Next, we meet Truman, our other main character, who has just had his heart broken from his boyfriend of a year when a massive secret is revealed and Truman would rather be anywhere else then in New Orleans. Enter Ramona, a mutual friend with the perfect solution! That Greta and Truman should house swap for the holidays and get some much-needed space and perspective for their own individual lives.

Some of the great things about this novel are the layers that define the characters as well as their own personal growth. Greta is Jewish, a lesbian, and a plant lover with the absolute greenest thumb and learns to distance herself from her somewhat co-dependent family by making her needs known to herself and by setting boundaries. Truman is a gay accountant who loves his bullet journals and fantasy novels and while in Maine, learns to advocate for himself in his romantic relationships so that they are no longer one-sided. Both go through a discovery journey that then allows them to make healthy decisions for themselves and their lives.

Parrish’s writing for Truman and Greta and the cast of characters that surround our main leads fell so authentic with everyone’s own issues and personality quirks. This is a great, cozy read to either kick start your holiday themed reading or just put in with all of your other holiday books!

Kayleigh Dyer is a Library Technical Processing Assistant at May Memorial Library. Contact her at