The enchantment of the holidays meets the pure storytelling genius of New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice as she presents readers with a special gift for the season and a Christmas favorite in the making…
On a quaint, snowy Chelsea street, librarian Catherine Tierney and a widowed Christmas tree seller from Nova Scotia will rediscover the magic of the season, in a chance encounter that leads to a holidays surprise of love and hope powerful enough to last a lifetime.
What I thought
Update – 2020
Still found this a charming, easy-to-read Christmas tale. While nothing remarkable, this book is a cozy and enjoyable read–perfect for some light reading during the holidays! I love the thought of Christmastime in NYC!
Initial review – 2010
There is just something about this semester that has me craving brain candy and sweet-and-sappy stories. This is obviously not going to become the next literary classic, but if you’re looking for a story to get yourself in the holiday mood, I recommend giving Luanne Rice a try.
This is one of the rare (and I mean very rare) occasions where I’ve seen the movie before reading the book. I actually had no idea that this book existed until I had watched the Hallmark movie adaptation. I liked the movie a lot, and quickly added it to my Christmas movie repertoire. I was then planning on checking this out of my library until I realized that I owned a copy. D’oh.
When I first started this, I wasn’t too sure about it. It just didn’t grab me like I had been hoping it would. Once I gave it the time to develop the plot a little bit, I started enjoying it immensely. I found myself looking forward to the little breaks I had in between homework assignments so that I could curl up with this. I eventually found myself surprised at how much they had changed or left out from the movie, even though that shouldn’t really surprise me.
The plot of the story always kept me interested, but be forewarned that it can get pretty cheesy. However, despite that, it was not predictable at all. The chronology of the book is completely different than the movie, so it even had me guessing from time to time. The only thing that I found a little predictable was the location of the silver bells, but it was easy to look past that.
This was such a heartwarming story, and one of my favorite parts about reading this book was that it completely transported me to NYC at Christmas time. I’m not quite as familiar with NYC as the author, so some of the streets and area descriptions were lost on me. I did get chills though when she described the Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting. Rice really had a handle on the hustle and bustle of the city during the holiday season, and I enjoyed the escape from end-of-semester work that this book gave.
I also enjoyed each of the characters. Rice gives enough background to let the reader know her characters and to get a feel for the way that they would act. We know and understand why Catherine is haunted, why Christy can be hard on his son, and why Danny wanted to escape to NYC so badly. The dialogue was written effectively, too. It just seemed completely natural, which made it easy to forget that I was actually reading a book. I heard the voices perfectly, even down to the inflections of the words.
Overall, it’s the perfect book to curl up with if you’re in the mood for some cheesy holiday fun! It’s an easy read if you’re looking to take your mind off of some stress, and will be guaranteed to leave you with a smile.