Donna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope, is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places. Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old, she still longs for a place that she can truly call home. Her work as a cashier is unfulfilling, and at Christmas it’s unbearable with the songs and carols and chatter of Christmas that she hears throughout the day. When Lauren ends her shift one night, she finds herself driving aimlessly in order to avoid returning to her lonely apartment. And when she witnesses a car accident she is suddenly pulled into the small town of Grandon, first as a witness but then as a volunteer for the annual fundraiser for Glory’s Place, a center for single mothers and families who need assistance. Could this town and its people be the home she has always longed for?
You know you want to feel better about people right now, don’t you. It’s ok, you can admit it. I will – and that is why I have immersed myself in holiday stories over the past few weeks. This lovely story truly captures the spirit of the Christmas season and added some diversity from all the “chick-lit” I’ll be bringing you. The characters are warm and inviting, with big hearts full of generosity. Lauren has had difficult and lonely life, and built some tall walls to protect herself. Her wish for a family for Christmas was heart-rending and the loneliness just seeped from her!
Laced with humor, VanLiere hits all the right notes, and will leave you looking for a town just like Grandon. The tale has its share of coincidences that might veer to the predictable, but the book left me feeling SO happy and positive about the goodness of people that I was happy to forgive it.
A feel-good book for the holiday season (or any season, to be honest), this tale of finding family and belonging will warm your heart and leave you full of love for the kindness of strangers.
About the Author
Donna VanLiere is The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Good Dream, Finding Grace, The Angels of Morgan Hill and several Christmas books, including the perennial favorites The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope. She travels as a speaker and lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with her husband and three children.
*Disclosure: I was provided an advanced reader copy by NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.*