Thursday, November 18, 2010

Escape with Mrs. Claus

From the publisher
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret? This tender story about fresh starts will charm readers as all of Melody Carlson's Christmas offerings do. Full of redemption and true holiday spirit, Christmas at Harrington's will be readers' newest Christmas tradition.

My take:
First off, let me just say that I'm kind of a "bah-humbug" sort of person---anyone who knows me knows I could just skip over Christmas & be totally happy.  Having said that, when I picked up this book I expected it to be sappy sweet about the holidays. Boy was I wrong!!

The main character, Lena, has had a tough time of it and has had to spend some time in prison. When she gets out, she realizes that even though she served her time & was "rehabilitated" people still had perceptions about an ex-con. How was she going to live if nobody would give her a second chance---a chance to prove herself? Everyone seems bent on treating her as a second class citizen until she meets an elderly woman who doesn't care about Lena's past. She helps Lena take steps along the path of rebuilding her life, inch by inch.

This book really makes you think about judgement---do we judge people by the way they look? By the clothes they have on their back? Or by the place they live? We don't know their circumstances or what happened to bring them to that place in life. As long as they are kind, Christian-like individuals, they should not be judged by outward appearances. A smile and a kind word may go a long way to make their day.

This book definitely gets a thumbs-up.....even from a grinch like me! It totally touched my heart and soul to put a some holiday spirit in me. It's a small book but a must-read for everyone.

Available November 2010 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.  Thanks to Donna Hausler and the Baker Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book.

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