This is my annual Christmas novel for the year, although it’s really more of a short story cycle a la Winesburg, Ohio than a novel-novel.
It contains a number of short stories focusing on women at various stages of their lives and having different difficulties around the holidays. One is a busy doctor with no time for personal relationships until a gust of wind scatters the nativity set from her apartment balcony, leading various neighbors to each bring back a piece and introduce themselves–including a potential love interest! Another woman is having difficulty in her marriage and walks out, only to find herself in church praying and eventually reconciling with her husband. One woman meets someone at the airport–a baby she’s adopting from overseas. And so on.
At the end, we discover that they’re all sisters as they gather in their mother’s home on Christmas Eve and recount their stories.
The stories are short and women-centric, but I guess the target audience for these sorts of books is not the same as the Executioner novels. The back flap says the author writes for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and, to be honest, these do kind of seem like Chicken Soup short stories, with a bit of setup and then a positive, uplifting outcome.
I didn’t like it as much as some of the other Christmas novels I’ve read, but it’s a pleasant and quick read.