Monday, December 8, 2008

Silver Bells by Luanne Rice

There are a plethora of holiday fiction titles available from such wide-ranging authors as Debbie Macomber to John Grisham to Christopher Moore, so there is a good chance you can find something to your taste. The good news about most of these titles is they are short in length and easy to read - who has time to delve into something heavy this time of year? The bad news is they are predictably really popular around the holidays, we may not have exactly what you are looking for on the shelf!

This was my first attempt at a Luanne Rice book, but I know a couple of people who really like her books, so I started with Silver Bells. Catherine Tierney is a lonely widow in New York City. Christy Byrne is an overwhelmed widower from Nova Scotia who peddles his Christmas trees every December in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Since his wife's death a few years earlier, Christy brings his 2 children, Bridget and Danny to New York with him. The previous year, Danny and his father got into an argument, and Danny ran away. This year, Christy is back and is determined to find Danny to bring him back to the farm. While Christy and Catherine discover a growing attraction for one another, Catherine struggles with letting Christy know that Danny is doing okay, since she and her friend Lizzie have been helping him out for the last year. Will Christy get his wish to have his family back together? Will Danny be able to keep making it as a homeless teenager? Will the ghost of Catherine's husband free her from her sadness, enabling her to find love again? I think we all probably know the answer to these questions, seeing that it is a holiday book, and holidays are the time for miracles.

The book itself is not long (a plus,) it features religion quite prominently, and ends with an appropriately heart-warming conclusion. If you like sweet stories and do not mind religious overtones, give this one a try to put you in the holiday spirit.

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