Don't you just love that cover? I think there is a part of many of us that at least thinks it would like to go back to a small town, back to a time when towns had downtown department stores rather than chain stores out at the mall, back to a place where people cared about each other--back to a place and time that probably never existed in quite the way we imagine it.
Lena, the main character in Christmas at Harrington's doesn't want to go back--back to the town where her condemning parents lived; back to the town where her husband abandoned her when she was accused of a crime (a crime he committed); no, she wants to start over somewhere new. The prison social worker sets her up in New Haven Minnesota--tells her there is a job waiting for her at Harrington's Department Store and gives her a bus ticket, a little cash, and pays her rent for a month.
Like the sweet Christmas story you would expect by looking at the cover, Lena befriends those in need and is befriended by someone who sensed her need. She gets a job as Mrs. Santa and for a while things look good. Then her past catches up with her, but it is a sweet Christmas story so...
I could tell you about the wonderful character development, deep-seated themes or amazing plot twists, but this book doesn't have any of those things. It is a feel-good Christmas story that leaves plenty of room for a sequel or two if Melody Carson decides she wants to do more with these characters, but the book does have a happy and satisfying ending. Grade: B.
I received a complimentary copy of his book for a Revell Blog Tour. Christmas at Harrington's is available November 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.