This year, as I was adding books to the library’s holiday display, it occurred to me that I have never actually read one of the “seasonal novels” that come out every December. My resistance to them was, admittedly, strong, but I decided to experiment with a few that I thought “were not for me.” I began with two authors who write many books in this genre: Richard Paul Evans and Debbie Macomber.
Within five minutes of reading Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans, I was hooked. A young man and woman meet at a distressing time for both of them. She was adopted at age 7 and separated from her sister, whom she’s been trying to find. He has been forced to drop out of college following the death of his mother, who had been keeping dark secrets from him. The book kept me guessing until the end and was surprisingly enjoyable. Starry Night by Debbie Macomber is a much more predictable romance. In this novel, a newspaper reporter’s promotion depends on whether she can get an interview with a popular, reclusive author who lives in the Alaskan wilderness. There are no surprises here, but I was entertained by it nonetheless.
My new adventure with holiday novels has convinced me that these books can be a great way to relax during the stressful holiday season. They make you feel good, are fairly light and easy to read, and have a happy ending. Maybe you’ll even come to believe in holiday miracles! Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate and enjoy. Here are some of the new ones at the North Castle library:
The Christmas Boutique by Jennifer Chiaverini. The Elm Creek quilters work tirelessly to make sure the Christmas boutique happens, but it may take a holiday miracle to make it the success they want it to be.
Noel Street by Richard Paul Evans. A single mother finds healing in her relationship with a recently returned Vietnam POW whose personal demons have created a stir in their small Utah community.
A Mrs. Miracle Christmas by Debbie Macomber. A woman who is struggling with her inability to have a child receives help from a kindhearted stranger and at the same time, her dreams start to come true.
All I Want for Christmas is You by Miranda Liasson. When a one-night stand results in pregnancy, Kaitlin and Rafe pretend to be engaged just for the holidays to please their friends and families.