It’s still September, fall’s barely begun (not that you could tell it from the weather the last few days), people are starting to put up Halloween decorations at their houses, so of course you know what books are hitting the shelves: yes, time for Christmas books! There are three new Christmas-themed books here at The Field Library, with two more coming in the first week of October. Yes, it may be a little early to get in the right spirit, but it’s good to know they’re here so you can read them first and avoid the rush in late November and December.
A great theme of the season is reconciliation and the power of love, and The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson provides that in spades, along with a wonderful and (to us in the New York area) somewhat exotic setting in wintry Montana. Maddie McLendon, a widow, has moved out to Rustler’s Gulch with her son and grandson, hoping to make a new start, but the house she was having built is beset by endless delays and as winter moves in, she and her family are stuck living in trailers and tents. Meanwhile, her irascible millionaire neighbor, Sam Conacher, has withdrawn in his own grief, keeping a close eye on his 26 year old daughter, until she falls in love with Maddie’s son. Sam and Maddie butt heads, unable to agree on much of anything, until a near tragedy opens their hearts to each other and, with the first snowflakes of winter, brings them a real Christmas gift.
Another story of grieving people learning to love and live again through the Christmas spirit is Fern Michaels’ Holly and Ivy. Ivy Mackintosh lost her husband and children in a plane crash eight years before and has been drowning in her sorrow ever since, especially during the holiday season, so she’s dreading another Christmas of loneliness and memory. Then 11 year old Holly Greenwood appears on Ivy’s doorstep, lost and frightened; she was on her way home from her singing teacher’s house, where she’d been getting secret lessons. Holly just wants to sing in the Christmas play, and her voice is terrific, but her father is vehemently against music of any kind. As Ivy gets involved in helping Holly achieve her dream, she learns the cause of Holly’s father’s anger, and sees the warmth of his heart, and she begins to move out of her own grief toward the family that may need her as much as she needs them.
Pure romance is under the tree in Linda Lael Miller’s A Snow Country Christmas, also (coincidentally?) set in the wild west, this time in Wyoming. Raine McCall is a graphic designer, a single mother and a woman who’s happy to live in the slow lane in Mustang Creek, until she receives a Christmas Eve dinner invitation from visiting movie executive Mick Branson. For his part, though he has no interest, he thinks, in living in such an out of the way place so far from the glitter of Hollywood, he’s drawn to Raine for more than business. It’s just supposed to be a short Christmas trip, but there are Christmas gifts you just can’t turn down, for both of them.