Review posted February 8, 2009.
Bantam Books, 2005. 274 pages.
Here's another Christmas story. Oddly enough, I tried to read this book last year, and simply couldn't get interested. It felt predictable and sentimental. This year, I picked it up, read past the beginning, and found it sweet, poignant and even unexpected.
Christopher Byrne is a Christmas tree farmer from Nova Scotia. Every year, he sells his stock, commanding high prices, in New York City. Last year, however, his 16-year-old son, Danny, decided to stay in New York City instead of coming back home. This year, Christy and his young daughter Bridget want nothing more than to find Danny.
Meanwhile, librarian Catherine Tierney lives near the Christmas tree lot, but has a hard time with Christmas. Three years ago, she lost her beloved husband to melanoma right at Christmastime. However, Catherine tries to help people in memory of Brian, and all year a certain homeless boy has been wanting access to the private library she tends.
Yes, Christy and Catherine's lives intertwine. Yes, this story is about waking up to romance and about Christmas miracles. The story is very nicely done. I found that once I was in the right mood for it, I was treated to a heartwarming holiday tale.