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REDEMPTION AND SECOND CHANCE IN A RED FUR-TRIMMED COAT
on October 15, 2010
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. Carlson has Mrs. Santa reading from a library's Christmas book. Only the opening page and ending are revealed in this story. It begins: "'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the stable..." What a tease. Now I have to begin my search for a used copy of Carlson's kids' book "'Twas the Night: The Nativity Story" (2004).
My Christmas season is already blessed by reading "Christmas at Harrington's" early.