Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review: Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson

Christmas at Harrington'sChristmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: October 1, 2010
176 pages
Fiction, Christmas, Christian

My Review:
Why I read this: I received a description from the publisher and thought it sounded like a delightful Christmas read.

How is the novel driven: Character-driven

My thoughts: A fun delightful Christmas read, I'm not usually one for seasonal-reads, but books like this one could make me want to read more of them.  Christmas at Harrington's is a quick read, a mere 178 pages, but a lot is packed in those pages and it makes for a great read for the busy Christmas season.

I loved getting to know Lena and some of the townfolk in this book.  Lena is just getting out of prison and is trying to figure out how to adjust to normal life again.  She has no real ties so thinks starting over in new town is the way to go.  Life seems to throw interesting things at her as she starts off and the story moves quickly.  It seems very realistic but fun at the same time.  I found myself really loving Lena and I wasn't sure I would at the start.  She's a good person through and through and that shines through.

The Christian focus of this book is there but it's not the beat you over the head kind.  It's subtle.  Lena does things like stand up for the fact that Christ is a part of Christmas and she's honest and caring.  She's trying to get past the Christianity she thought she knew (the type that preaches almost everything you do is wrong) to the true kind that looks for goodness while holding you accountable at the same time.  The caring, loving kind that all people should be regardless of their religion.  That's what this book shows, and it shows it through a magnificent cast of characters.  Sure there are some bad apples in the bunch, but that makes the good really shine.

And good really shines in Christmas at Harrington's.  I can see me re-reading this one during the Christmas season year after year because it really shows some of the true meaning of Christmas and does so in a wonderful way.  I believe Ms. Carlson has hit a homerun with this one and I will continue to seek out her books in the future (I already love her young adult novels).

My Rating: 4.75/5.0

About the Book:

Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret? This tender story about fresh starts will charm readers as all of Melody Carlson's Christmas offerings do. Full of redemption and true holiday spirit, Christmas at Harrington's will be readers' newest Christmas tradition.

About the Author (from author's website):
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.



FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher, Revell, a division of Baker Books for review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.