This was a quick read and a nice Christmas story, which was precisely what I was looking for. It has some problems. The choppy, simplistic, sometimes repetitive sentence structure was grating at first, but I finally got into the rhythm…or it got better. I’m not certain. Another issue was the fact that the author incorrectly used the word “myriad” annoyed me, as did using the wrong word to describe carefully going through paperwork (it should be “poring over” not “pouring over”…cause shit like that jolts me out of the story). The last problem I had was that Stovall seemed too keen on cliches towards the beginning. All of these things combined had me wondering if I wanted to finish the book at all, but by the time Chapter Ten rolled around, I was too engrossed to return it to the library.
I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. The story is one of hope, love, forgiveness, changing, growing, and leaving the past behind you, where it belongs. The main character, Kathleen, has been emotionally distant and additionally crabby about Christmas ever since her dad walked out on her when she was ten. Fast forward to now, Kathleen has a boyfriend with a very…precocious (re: persnickety)…ten-year-old daughter named Lucy. Kathleen and Lucy get snowed in together when Lucy’s dad has to go out of town on business but has nowhere else to drop Lucy off because their current babysitter just quit. So she winds up at Kathleen’s house…along with a strange older guy that Kathleen almost run over in the grocery store parking lot. The bonding that happens was hardly a surprise, but the way it all plays out was quite entertaining and heart-warming.
In the end, Kathleen remembers what really matters (family, food, and good times) and acts accordingly. She also goes to visit her mother for the first time in over a decade. I like that it didn’t end in Andrew proposing to her, as if that’s the only way for him to “get” her. I’m curious how the movie is. The last 15 minutes of it that I saw on TV the other night led me to believe it was pretty faithful, so that’s cool. I look forward to seeing that. The story here is nice, I just think it could’ve been better written.