Friday, September 21, 2018

A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson

Book description:

When Wendy Harper inherits her family's beach-side cottage in Seaside, Maine, she sees it as a way to finally pay off the debts that have mounted since her husband died. But before it can be sold, the neglected property must be renovated. She and her 12-year-old son Jackson move in--temporarily, she reminds him--in order to do the work themselves, even though Christmas is coming. The charming town, along with local craftsman Caleb Colton, pulls on both Wendy and Jackson, who even registers himself for school in a bid to get his mom to move them there permanently. Wendy knows that the most responsible thing to do is to sell the cottage and return to Ohio, but the lure of the sea is hard to resist.

Join award-winning author Melody Carlson for a Christmas story that will warm your heart and have you dreaming of your own enchanted seaside holiday.

My review:

  I have come to equate a great Christmas story with Melody Carlson. She has been writing a Christmas novel every year for several years now, and I have a shelf containing those books. It may seem odd to be reading and reviewing a Christmas book in September, but there was no way I'd pass up a chance to review her newest Christmas novel. I would rather have read it closer to Christmas, but the review dates are this month.

 Of all of her books I have read, I find this one to be her best one yet. It is possible there are aspects of the book that made me like it even better.

 The setting is a beach house by the ocean, and I love the ocean and have vacationed there several times. Granted, I have no desire to be there in the winter, but it still made a great setting for the book.

   I am also a sucker for a book with kids in it, especially a fatherless young boy. Carlson did a great job on creating his likable character, along with the other main characters.

 The book actually takes place before Christmas, a week before Thanksgiving, and the time after. There is a lot of talk about Christmas, and much decorating for the holiday also. The town in the book sounds like a delightful place to live, whether or not it is modeled after a real town or not.

 These Christmas books are actually novellas, with this one coming in at just 167 pages. A lot is packed into those pages, and the story tugged at my heart strings of a 12 year old boy so desperately wanting what seemed impossible, but then Christmas is a time for miracles.....

 I thoroughly enjoyed the book, though the whirlwind romance was was too fast to happen in real life...though I did love the ending and how it was all wrapped up. A great read indeed.

 I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon.

Check out her website:

A Christmas by the Sea is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.