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Christmas at Harrington's [Kindle Edition]

Melody Carlson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Kindle Edition $4.61  
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Book Description

Sometimes the best gift is a second chance

Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"Please, have a seat." Ms. Harrington gestured to a pair of black leather chairs across from her desk. "I'll cut to the chase because I'm sure your time is as valuable as mine."
Lena wasn't so sure, but she nodded then sat down, folding her hands in her lap.
"Cassidy seems to think that you've been sent here by angels or God or maybe even Santa Claus."
Lena blinked. "What?"
"She thinks you'd be perfect to play Mrs. Santa."
"Mrs. Santa?"
"I suppose it's that coat." Ms. Harrington frowned. "And the curly hair. And I guess you have the right sort of face too." Now she laughed. "But I'm also guessing that is not the sort of work you're looking for."
Lena was too dumbfounded to respond.

From the Back Cover

Sometimes the best gift is a second chance

Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?

Reading Christmas at Harrington's, a story full of redemption and true holiday spirit, will be your newest Christmas tradition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1337 KB
  • Print Length: 167 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004071VLG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas At Harrington's September 29, 2010
Ahh...the sweet smell of the holidays are in the air as the new Christmas books are being released. I grabbed Melody Carlson's new book, Christmas at Harrington's, mainly because I really, really like this cover and because I begin Christmas shopping in July and am finished by Thanksgiving. So, I'm in the mood for Christmas reading. Christmas at Harrington's is a wonderful read filled with love, grace and the redemption of Jesus birth!
Lena is a "marked woman" who needs a fresh new start. She begins her new life in a small town but must prove herself over and over again. She has a secret she wants to keep but as secrets go, this one gets out the bag. Will her secret make or break her?
Lena allows God to work for and even though she goes through exceptionally hard times, somewhat like the trials Joseph in the Bible endured, God once again proves that He loves those who trust in Him.
This read made me think about those who seem less than me. I was enthralled with the sweet lady the Lena meets on the bus . . . I would like to emulate her attitude towards those less fortunate. As the old saying goes, "You can't judge a book by its cover." Nor can you judge a person by his lack of coat. Yes, I judged this book . . .LOVE , LOVE the cover and LOVE, LOVE the story inside---absolutely fabulous! So, glad I had the privilege to read this book!
In the mood for a great-tastic Christmas read? Then you'll not want to miss this excellent story!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quick read November 22, 2010
Lena has just got out of prison, serving 8 years for a crime she did not commit. The only thing she wants is a place to start over- where no one knows her or her past. She is given a quite ugly outfit to wear, a few weeks of paid rent in a boarding house in an undesirable part of town, $65, and a recommendation for possible job opening. How will the people of New Haven treat her when they find out her past? Will she be able to be free from her past?

This book was a quick read- great for a busy Christmas season. The farther I got in the book the more I wanted to read. However I was disappointed in the abrupt ending. It seemed the author had to wrap up the book and get it out to the publisher to meet a deadline. I felt it needed a few more chapters to get to the point in the ending. It seemed lacking and kind of out of place.

If you are looking for a quick read to get you in the Christmas spirit give this book a try!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A small town, inspirational story for the many this Christmas season that are besieged with their own past and/or the economy. Many need second chances and this book by Melody Carlson packs a lot of hope into a few pages. An enjoyable read with some depth. Even with its satisfying ending, it leaves readers with a hunger for more story about the life of Lena Markham.

Lena is paroled from the pen with only the clothes on her back, $65 cash, & a one-way bus ticket to New Haven, MN. I found this author's stories irresistible after her book "The Christmas Bus" made its stop in my living room. She has warmth of spirit written into every story and a way of making the reader fall in love with her characters. "Christmas at Harrington's" is no exception.

Lena rolls into New Haven with a prearranged boardinghouse room and a job at a local department store, Harrington's. Unfortunately due to lackluster sales, the job is gone. The owner's child decides Lena is the perfect looking Mrs. Santa. But...can an ex-con, just released, former spouse of an un-ordained preacher, & living in the disreputable Miller House, pull off pretending to be Mrs. Santa? Here is a story that will touch your heart and then put your conscience to considering the plight of many who struggle with making it on a daily basis. Even readers with their own difficulty will discover hope from New Haven's less fortunate. Moira will spurn your spirit of caring and charity. Young Beth, Cassidy, & Jemima you will simply love.

Sam, a handsome widower lawyer secretly investigates Mrs. Santa's sordid history looking for truth. Over the scent of `coffee with real cream' and gingersnaps (Santa's real favorite cookie), I can smell a sequel--maybe a Lena romance by Easter?

One small negative is found.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story September 4, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story concept was good. However, I think the character's could have been developed more. Ending was too quick and disappointing. Could have been developed more. A good read though since it was free.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Heart-Warming Read December 19, 2010
What a delight this Christmas book was! It was such an enjoyable read! I thoroughly liked the characters whom were such a welcome respite from some other books I am reading whose characters are rather unlikeable. Here, I thought Jemima was trusting and adorable and Mrs. Clause had a delightful amount of spunk. A book filled with people that you fall in love with is always that much more enjoyable to read!

The plot of the book was fairly original and I bought it hook, line, and sinker. Over all the story had a light-hearted Christmas feel about it, though it did lightly touch upon some more serious issues.

It is a small book and can be finished within a day or two if you are a leisurely reader and quicker if you are not. I rather liked everything about this Christmas fiction - maybe the Christian theme was less overt than I expected, but it was present.

If you are looking for a great story centered around redemption and hope, then Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson is for you!

I've reviewed this book on my own site at [...]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Christmas Story
Good Christmas story. Flowed well and not preachy.
Published 12 days ago by Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars Light fare about second chances. Hope and trust and ...
Light fare about second chances. Hope and trust and unwillingness to be bitter when life hands you lemons and you transform it to lemonade!!
Published 18 days ago by Frances Brenner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved it didn't want it to end
Published 1 month ago by Helen Craft
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!
Sip a hot cocoa and a enjoy this wonderful, heart touching story. Melody Carlson's ability to spin a good story was exactly what I was looking for when I found her book in my... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Petey Malone
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I'm not one for these kinds of books. That being said it was a cute story but I think I will stick to mysteries and thrillers from now on.
Published 2 months ago by Me
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit by Melody Carlson!
This author does great stories and can make you feel as if you're there living the story with the characters. And her Christmas books are especially wonderful and very feel good. Read more
Published 3 months ago by C. M. Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas love
This book was really interesting. Seems like the underdog never wins but in this book she does. Good triumphs over evil. Read more
Published 4 months ago by mamaw4
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Enjoyed the book. Story tells how important it is not to give up, even when life seems to be hard. Also shows how God is in control and we need to trust in Him to see that He... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Carla Rossignol
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Christmas Story
“Christmas at Harrington’s" by Melody Carlson was a different kind of story than I normally read. The story is about a woman, Helena (Lena) Markham, who has just been paroled from... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Barbara A Klein
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
Everybody deserves a second chance and Ms Carlson ensures it happens here. What a beautiful story. A quick read you are certain to enjoy.
Published 5 months ago by Sal
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More About the Author

Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women and children. That's a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a "storyteller." Her novels range from serious issues like schizophrenia (Finding Alice) to lighter topics like house-flipping (A Mile in My Flip-Flops) but most of the inspiration behind her fiction comes right out of real life. Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, TrueColors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She's won a number of awards (including Romantic Time's Career Achievement Award, the Rita and the Gold Medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog. To find out more about Melody Carlson, visit her website at

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