Excerpt: No one in Parrish Springs could recall exactly when Matilda Honeycutt came to town. No one seemed to know where she came from either, but most everyone remembered the day Matilda Honeycutt purchased the old Barton Building. Not because she made much noise when her bid won the run-down brick building in the sealed-envelope auction conducted by the city, but because Councilman Snider swore so loudly that patrons in the coffee shop next door to his real estate office actually heard his tantrum. The Christmas Shoppe, p 5.
Back Cover: The small town of Parrish Springs is not quite 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.
My Review: I love Christmas stories that are full of wonder and magic, but I was a little disappointed in The Christmas Shoppe. Melody Carlson's characters were very interesting and varied. She did a great job bringing to life the town of Parrish Springs with its rich history. The initial conflict made me turn pages, but I found myself a unsatisfied by the end. The story-line was a little thin, in my opinion. I would have liked to see deeper conflict and a more believable resolution to the story. Though the book left me dissatisfied, I can see that it would be a nice story to cuddle up with under a blanket before a warm fire, if you were just looking for a fluffy holiday read.
My Recommendation: I don't actively recommend this book.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.