Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Review: The Christmas Dog

Summary: Christmas miracles can come from unlikely sources.
Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it's because her husband is gone. Maybe it's because she's missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.

But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about. -- Revell Books

I have heard so many wonderful things about Melody Carlson, but I had never actually read one of her books until I picked up THE CHRISTMAS DOG. I figured since I enjoy Christmas -themed books so much, that THE CHRISTMAS DOG would be a good one to start with! Plus, I couldn't resist the adorable puppy on the cover -- isn't he just precious?

THE CHRISTMAS DOG is sweet little book about all sorts of relationships -- relationships between family members, friends, neighbors, and even pets and owners. It's a very quick and light read (about 170 pages) that's just perfect for this time of year. And it will remind you that sometimes love appears when you least expect it!

Betty Kowalski is having a hard time getting in the mood for Christmas. She will be all by herself for the holidays and she is missing her husband. In addition, she is upset about her "crazy" neighbor Jack. When a puppy appears on her doorstep, she assumes that it belongs to Jack. The poor puppy goes back and forth between Betty and Jack because neither one wants to claim the dog as their own. The "war" between the neighbors doesn't reflect positively on either party!

In the meantime, Betty's granddaughter Avery runs away from her family and shows up at Betty's house. Avery is kind of a lost soul who just needs some time to figure things out in her life. While neither Betty nor Jack wants anything to do with the dog, Avery falls fast in love with the adorable canine. While Betty wants to support Avery, she finds herself caught in the middle between Avery and her parents, Avery and the dog, and Avery and Jack!

THE CHRISTMAS DOG is really a story about the beauty of the holiday season. It's a time when we all need to reflect on how blessed we are and remind ourselves to "love thy neighbor as thyself." I especially enjoyed the message that love can appear when we least expect it. This novella definitely gave me something to think about -- will I be willing to embrace that love when it appears or will I miss out on it because I wasn't paying attention?

I have another one of Ms. Carlson's Christmas stories THE CHRISTMAS BUS downloaded on my Kindle that I intend to read in the next few weeks. If THE CHRISTMAS DOG is any indication of her other books, then I definitely think I'm in for a treat. I also discovered that Ms. Carlson has written books for middle grade and young adult audiences, so Booking Daughter and I will have to check these out too.

I highly recommend THE CHRISTMAS DOG is you want a feel-good book about Christmas and the importance of "loving your neighbors." I am passing along my copy to my mother, and I can't wait to hear what she thinks. And then, I think I'll had it over to Booking Daughter. THE CHRISTMAS DOG is just an ideal book for any age.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this novel.


Molly said...

I will have to check this book out. I plan to read a Dog Named Christmas over the holidays, and this sounds a like a perfect companion novel.

Happy Holidays, Julie :)

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a good book. That is something to reflect upon - will we be too busy to notice love when we see it?

Anna said...

These kinds of books certainly make you think about what the holiday season is really about. Sounds worth checking out. Thanks for the review!

Diary of an Eccentric

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You are really hitting the Christmas books lately. It's a wonder you have any kleenex left! :--)

Jenn said...

This is definitely the kind of book I like reading druing the holidays. I think I will pick this one up. Thanks for the review!

Amy said...

I loved the Christmas Bus and hope you get to it :) she has another one, The Gift of Christmas Present that is really good too. I haven't finished this one yet. :)

shelburns said...

Definitely one I will have to check out. I am a lover of Christmas themed books as well.

brizmus said...

I just finished and adored the Christmas Bus. This one looks extra adorable as well! I'll have to check it out!

Serena said...

This sounds fantastic and like you, I can't resist those cute dogs on book covers.

carolsnotebook said...

I adore the cover on this and it sounds like a great holiday read.

Jacqueline said...

Sounds great!!