Author: Melody Carlson
About the book: The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.
Once again, Melody Carlson delivers a Christmas story that will touch hearts and delight the senses. Sure to be a classic, The Christmas Shoppe is filled with the special magic the best Christmas stories share--that intangible mixture of nostalgia, joy, and a little bit of magic.
My Thoughts: This was definitely a feel-good story but for those who might be scared off by the title, I did not find it overwhelmingly "Christmas-y". It was set in the weeks before and after Thanksgiving, and does give you small doses of the message of salvation, so would be good for someone who doesn't have a personal relationship with Christ.
It made me think about treasures from my childhood that might evoke nostalgic memories if I were to stumble across them today. Like a Mrs. Beasley doll or an old diary. Do you have treasures in your life that remind you of a certain time or experience?
This was a quick story and just gave you glimpses in to the lives of these townspeople. I look forward to seeing if Melody Carlson is going to expand on any of these characters for any further books. Seems like there would be some interesting backstories or future stories here - Like that of Rose, Susanna's mother-in-law; or the future of Susanna and Tommy.
If you want a quick read and a "warm-up" book for the Christmas season - take a look at The Christmas Shoppe.
~I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review from Baker Publishing.~
Publisher/Publication Date: Baker, Sept 2011