The people of Parrish Springs are curious about the town’s new resident, Matilda Honeycutt. The town merchants’ curiosity turns to concern when the strange woman purchases an empty store in a prime location and isn’t eager to disclose how she’s going to use the building. Councilman George Snider has even stronger feelings since Matilda bought the very property he wanted to buy and resell for a profit, and he sets out to find a way to get it for himself.
Susanna Elton, the new city manager, is trying to fit in, do a good job, and make a life for her ten-year-old daughter and former mother-in-law. But she’s barely begun her job when Matilda’s store causes townspeople to make complaints. She and Tommy Thompson, the owner of the local newspaper, at first stand up for Matilda. But when her store turns out to be something totally different than what they expected, they begin to wonder if the older woman isn’t crazy.
But Matilda isn’t discouraged, and as people visit her store one by one, they find exactly what they were looking for and needed.
My review …
I really enjoyed the author’s Christmas novella, Christmas at Harrington’s, so I eagerly looked forward to reading The Christmas Shoppe. In novellas, there is little time for readers to develop relationships with characters. A lot of people were introduced in the beginning chapters of this book, so it was difficult to bond to any one of them. Because a large portion of the story was devoted to meeting and understanding how everyone fit, we didn’t get to the real heart of the story until almost the end. I liked the story, but would have enjoyed it even more if I’d seen further how visiting the shop and spending time with Matilda affected the townspeople.
Overall, The Christmas Shoppe is a sweet tale with a wonderful twist and subtle messages that many of us can relate to. It’s a story to be enjoyed when you want to snuggle in with a quick read and get into the holiday spirit.
Available November 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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. For more information about Melody visit her website at www.melodycarlson.com.