The Christmas Town: A Time Travel Novel Kindle Edition
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Once the time-travel plot gets underway, the reader is totally lost in the story. This is one of those novels that would make a great movie, too. That's because the authors have made sure that the characters and setting are vivid in the reader's mind. Period details are very believable indeed. I would love to see this book become another one of those beloved Christmas film traditions, to be treasured over the years!
--A Night's Dream of Books
- ASIN : B00FTPG6S6
- Publisher : Broadback (October 2, 2013)
- Publication date : October 2, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 3027 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 281 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1492852805
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #184,064 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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As I began to read, I must admit that I wasn't initially sympathetic to the two main characters, Megan Jennings and Jackie Young. They meet at the Montpelier airport, in the state of Vermont, where their flight has been diverted, due to a snowstorm that has made it impossible for the plane to land at Portland International Airport, in Maine, as scheduled. (There is an inaccuracy in the novel here; the city of Montepelier has no airport. It is served by Burlington International Airport, in Burlington, which is located 33 miles away from Montpelier.)
Megan is a twenty-something fledgling actress who lives in New York City and has performed in a few Broadway plays. She is traveling to Portland to meet her family. although she's dreading the occasion. Jackie Young, also in her twenties, is the Senior Graphics Manager for the Lotus Design Corporation, and she, too, is traveling to Portland from New York, to spend Christmas with her fiance's family, although she's not too happy about that, either. The reason is that Eric's parents don't seem to approve of her as a match for their son.
Both women initially struck me as very self-centered, and not in tune with the spirit of the season. This was quite evident in their squabbling over who would get the only rental car left at the airport, which each of them would need in order to get to Portland. When the man who had reserved the car graciously lets them have it -- thanks to Megan's concocted story about a family emergency -- they are both upset about having to share the car. Having no other option, however, they reluctantly agree to do so, and set off on their perilous journey to Portland through the storm, and at night, on top of it.
At this point, I must say that their decision to drive through that storm, at nighttime, is not believable at all. The more rational choice would have been to wait until morning, at the very least. In fact, I don't think they would have been able to make it to Portland even then. It would have taken days for the roads to be cleared. The diverted flight took place five days before Christmas, too, so that would have made it even more unlikely that Megan and Jackie would have arrived at their destination in time for the holiday.
The whole point, of course, was to get these characters lost in the storm, so that they would come across an old covered bridge, which unbeknownst to them, was really a time portal.
Once they cross this bridge, the two young women discover a town named Holly Grove, with a population of 5,400. As they seek shelter and food, they also come to discover that, somehow, they have traveled backward in time, to the year 1943....
Ironically, I found the fantastical section of this novel a bit more believable. The authors ("Elyse Douglas" is a pen name for a married writing duo) have gone all-out in creating their fictional town (no such place exists in Vermont), immersing the reader in the daily life of this World War II community, with such things as rationing tickets, incredibly low prices, and swing bands. One gets the unmistakable feeling that the authors are nostalgic for this time in American history. The people, the events of the story, everything makes the reader feel this way, as well. Perhaps the characters living in this time period are idealized to some extent, but they are still very appealing. I really enjoyed the touches of humor as things we take for granted in the 21st century were woefully missing in 1943. Megan and Jackie had to catch themselves when they inadvertently mentioned something anachronistic, and caught puzzled looks from their two love interests.
The soldiers that Megan and Jackie fall in love with are certainly very appealing! Corporal Danny (known as "Danny Boy") Crawford and First Lieutenant Jeff Grant are charming young men, rather naive and harmless by today's standards, but also very handsome. They are perfect gentlemen, as well. Danny and Jackie find each other immediately attractive, while Megan and Jeff also feel a mutual attraction.
I have to admit that this all sounds a little too predictable, but I found myself enjoying it, just the same. The two couples are simply perfect for each other. So, in spite of the "insta-love" element, I went along with the story. Still, I do think that a mere five days is too short a time to fall in love with someone. The romance would have been more plausible if Jackie and Megan had been at Holly Grove for at least one month.
The girls begin to change as they strive to solve the problem of how to get back to their own time, while dealing with their feelings for the two soldiers they must undoubtedly leave behind. Being forced to work together, as well as confide in each other, gradually eliminates their sarcastic verbal swipes at each other, as well as their antagonistic attitudes. They must become allies, and, in the process, end up as good friends, as well. They also become a lot more likable.
How they solve their problem, with the help of the two soldiers (who don't know the whole story, since the two girls are afraid of being thought crazy), makes for some very entertaining reading! The plot speeds up as the villain of the story seeks the help of the town sheriff, and the girls find an unexpected ally in the daughter of the resident eccentric, who has passed on some highly unusual tales to her as a legacy.
I would have wholeheartedly loved this novel if it hadn't been for the inaccuracy mentioned in the second paragraph above, as well as the craziness of two young women driving off in a rental car, in the middle of a snowstorm, and coming through unscathed.
There were other details that bothered me, too. For instance, I wondered where Danny and Jeff lived. There was a scarcity of details about their personal lives. The one thing we find out is that Jeff's father is a minister, although we never get to meet his family. Also, the writing was at times a bit awkward, as when the strong attraction between Danny and Jackie was described.
In summary, I think this novel is definitely a warm, cozy Christmas read, in spite of its minor flaws. After all, the Christmas season has always been associated with magic and miracles, not only because of the divine birth, but also because of such historical figures as Charles Dickens, O. Henry, and Frank Capra. Once the time-travel plot gets underway, the reader is totally lost in the story, and the flaws somehow get glossed over as one is swept up in the romance of it all.
Furthermore, the ending is appropriately magical, as well as mysterious....
This is one of those novels that would make a great movie, too. That's because the authors have made sure that the characters and setting are vivid in the reader's mind. Period details are very believable indeed. I would love to see this book become another one of those beloved Christmas film traditions, to be treasured over the years!
Even the old songs they highlight throughout the chapters are bringing back fond memories. I remember hearing the song "I'll Be Seeing You" play over and over again in our home. With my dad fighting in WW II, and being around the same age as these characters in this book, it has really touched home for me. Now I can't stop whistling that tune!
Didn't want this book to end and hopeful this story will continue in the author's next book release! :)
Sadly, I was mistaken. This tale was not my favorite, not by a long shot.
I didn't like the characters. They weren't fleshed out enough for me to understand and accept their flaws. Instead, Megan's lying and scheming were just annoying, and Jackie's snootiness rubbed me wrong. The story was basically non-existent once the girls ended up in 1943 as the author (or in this case, authors as I read at the end that this is a husband and wife writing team) seemed more interested in showcasing the 1943-ness of the town than the actual plot.
And, the ending...well, the ending was just...I have no words to describe it without giving out spoilers.
Let's just say, this was not a read that I enjoyed. At all.
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