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Showing 1-10 of 187 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 257 reviews
on December 25, 2012
Parrish Springs City Councilman George Snider was upset when he found out a stranger, Matilda Honeycutt, had outbid him on the old Barton Building. He'd planned to buy it for little and sell it to a chain discount store for a huge profit. When he found out her Christmas Shoppe was nothing more than a thrift store with used junk, he vowed to run her out of town. As the town faces off between Matilda's supporters and enemies, Tommy Thompson, who owns and runs the newspaper, and Susanna Elton, the city manager, get caught in the squabbling. The attraction they felt at first seems to bog down in the quagmire. Strange, however, those who look through Matilda's shop find an item to remind them of something in their past and a change they need to make now. Maybe she has priceless gifts after all.

This was a heart-warming Christmas story with a lot of human nature, a touch of romance, and a dash of wonder. It is a quick read that will most likely leave a smile on your face. I certainly enjoyed it.
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on November 22, 2011
This book is light reading, enjoyable, which is just the escape I needed recently. I think others covered the basic story so won't go into that. There was definitely not alot of character development, and for the most part that was okay. I did wish that the main character, Mathilda, and the other main female, Susanna, would have had more interactions. I thought they would since they were supposed to be "friends" , which was stated at the beginning of the book. Didn't see any friendship there. The ending was rather abrupt--could have been better, but all in all, I enjoyed it.
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on December 31, 2012
The concept for this book was a great thought. However, I felt that the concept wasn't developed enough. When the strange things started to happen, one would have thought that the town would be all abuzz about the shop. Eventually that did happen. I would have liked to know more about the shop keeper. Was she really a person, or an angel on a mission. Her abrupt departure left me with wanting more story. But it was an interesting read that could have happened anytime of the year.
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on December 15, 2013
This was a delight to read. I've enjoyed other books by Melody Carlson as well. Great and simple story of how important it is not to judge others...and yet, how easy it is to do so and get others to agree with you.
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on March 10, 2015
Not Melody's best. Most her her stories are far above this one. But I do love a good Christian story which she has many times succeeded in her writings!
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on December 18, 2014
Wonderful quick read and a breath of fresh air where Christmas stories are concerned. Can't beat Melody Carlson for any of her books.
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VINE VOICEon September 5, 2011
Every year I look forward to a Christmas story by Melody Carlson (similar to the anticipation of a new Debbie Macomber Christmas story). The difference in the two authors is that Carlson's is heavily Christian in nature. So if you have not read any of Carlson's novels you will need to know that I think some might think them slight "preachy" but I really enjoyed this one. It is about a strange (in fact, weird) stranger that comes to town and outbids a local for a building on main street of this little town.
If you have lived in a small town, you will know how typical the reactions are of the locals to a stranger. The locals want to get rid of her and take actions to do so; however, there is a twist to this story. I do not want to give the twist away but although one can pretty much surmise the essence of the story (and Carlson is for the most part, fairly transparent in her writings in all of her novels), it is still a joy to see the characters react to this stranger and to determine for one's self just who or what this strange person is.
I read this book in a couple of settings within a 24 hour period. I just could not leave it alone. This for me is the hallmark of a good story. This book has certainly started off my holiday reading season on a good note!
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on March 14, 2017
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon October 17, 2011
Finally Susanna the new city manager of Parrish Springs has found a new owner for an empty downtown building. But the transaction is mysterious, a sign of mistrust, especially coming from Councilman Snider, a man who had his own secret plans for the building. Can he convince the rest of the community that whoever this new owner is, must go...and go now?

As in most small towns, rumors fly faster than pre-holiday snowflakes. Matilda, the new owner, both barefoot and beaded, seems to care little of the wave of disenchantment toward her mystery business. But once the big new sign is mounted on the storefront, "The Christmas Shoppe", surely all will be hunky-dory. No, not with the shelves full of damaged discarded whatnots unworthy of the best of flea markets.
Plus the owner, Matilda, has been likened to a gypsy, hippie, witch, bag lady, vagabond, certifiably crazy nut, outsider, saboteur, rebel, at least being evil and wily.

Yet readers will find their heart aligning with this mysterious lady, not the mayor, city heads, business neighbors, or even Tommy, the owner of the local paper "Parrish Spring Sprout." He has his own issues to edit. But one by one, the townsfolk enter the store, and behold find it has to do more with Christmas than the "thrift merchandise" displays.
If YOU, readers, search through the pages of Melody Carlson's book, The Christmas Shoppe, you just might find a thing you need--if you look hard enough. Such as: forgiveness, patience, truth, heart, love--for certain, readers will find the Christmas scent of frankincense and Hallmark.

This author is good at writing small town holiday inspiration. A fun read.
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on December 14, 2012
An eccentric woman open The Christmas Shoppe on Main St in the small town of Parrish Springs. The Christmas Shoppe seems to be a thrift store filled with junk "no one would buy" on a street that isn't zoned for that type of business. The town is in an uproar led by the Councilman who wants the building for himself. But everyone that enters The Christmas Shoppe leaves with something they may not have known they needed.

I enjoyed reading this story. The characters were engaging and I thought the plot was interesting. I wouldn't mind a chance to browse the shelves of The Christmas Shoppe myself.

Fans of Melody Carlson's Christmas novellas will not be disappointed by this sweet Christmas tale.
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