Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review: The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: September 1, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages 
Fiction, Christian
 ISBN:  978-0800719265

My Review:
As a quick Christmas read, I really enjoyed The Christmas Shoppe.  It has a nice message, interesting characters and I like the small town setting of the book.  That said there isn't a whole lot of time to develop much more than that in a short book, but if you recognize the limitations of the format, then this book is a real gem to perk up your holidays and get you thinking about what is truly important to you.

First off the characters are interesting.  You have your good guys, your bad guys and a few who fall in between.  Matilda's shop opening seems to have polarized the town, with Councilman Snider's people on one side and then the people who don't think Matlilda is hurting anything on the other.  Matilda sits right in the middle, the mystery of it all in her when she remains vague on what her shop will actually be.  I really liked Susanna, she's new to town as well and trying to do her best job as town manager and as a single mother.  Tommy is the newspaper owner who is trying to decide whether to stay in town and keep the paper or run off roaming the world as he once wanted to do.  Of course these two single people meet each other but I'm not giving away anything else.

The Christmas Shoppe is at the center of the story and provides the magic.  I like how it wove into the story and changed lives.  It was cute, uplifting and profound at times.  I think anyone who reads the book will find someone to relate to in this book.  I know I could relate to several.

The book is well-written and interesting though it ends much too quickly.  I wish I could have more of the characters and the town, but alas it's just a short Christmas book.  However it is a well-done short Christmas book and my second by Ms. Carlson and I will continue to read her Christmas books each year to find that little bit of Christmas spirit in an unusual and thoughtful way.

My Rating: 4.25/5.0

About the Book:
The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.

Once again, Melody Carlson delivers a Christmas story that will touch hearts and delight the senses. Sure to be a classic, The Christmas Shoppe is filled with the special magic the best Christmas stories share--that intangible mixture of nostalgia, joy, and a little bit of magic

Available September 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Author: 
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books with sales of more than five million. She is the author of several Christmas books from Revell, including the bestselling The Christmas Bus, The Christmas Dog, and Christmas at Harrington’s, which is being considered for a TV movie. She is also the author of many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, Double Take, and the Diary of a Teenage Girl series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books in 2010 and 2011. She and her husband live in central Oregon. 



FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.