Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

Charming, if a little predictable, this sweet story, The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson, reminds us of what Christmas is all about. Edith is a 50-something pastor's wife, living in Christmas Valley and running The Shepherd's Inn. The small town prides itself on its Christmas spirit 365 days a year. Christmas themed gift shops, cafes and the inn are the norm, yet church attendance is failing, charity begins and ends at home and the mean spirits of some of the locals want to turn away those in need at Christmas.

Edith, on the other hand, finds inspiration in her husband's church sermon; that without knowing it, the Lord may send angels to us unawares. Without her grown children home for the holiday, Edith decides to break tradition and open her small inn for Christmas, hoping to share her Christmas spirit with others who are in the same boat.

An eclectic mix of visitors appear: a seemingly unhappy married couple, a crotchety old woman, a widowed mom & her daughter, and a young couple in their brightly painted bus. Local tempers flair and the guests fluster Edith. But all along, she strives to make the most of what she's been given and to make it a special holiday, to remind those around her that charity doesn't always begin at home and that Christmas is more than about the food & events.

Originally I downloaded this as a free e-book, but it did revert back to $9.99 almost immediately after. To me, it's not a $9.99 but if it comes down in price again, it's worth the short read.

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