Powerful in it's simplicity: My review of The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson

Publisher: Revell (September 1, 2011)

Book Synopsis as provided by the publisher:

The small town of Parrish Springs is not quite ready for Matilda Honeycutt.

A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.


The Christmas Shoppe is a story filled with wonder and heart-warming moments. Matilda is quirky and special, focused on what really matters and unworried about the troubles we so commonly let plague us. Who she is, exactly, is never revealed in the story - an angel? A miracle worker? Who knows? But to the flawed residents of Parrish Springs, in the end it doesn't really matter, as each of them is drawn into her strange shop and emerge utterly changed. The author doesn't set out to develop deep, complex characters, but in this book it is a strength as the simple story ends up conveying a profound truth of God's love and the power of forgiveness.  All of Carlson's characters, from Tommy the newspaper owner to Suzanne the city manager to the greedy Councilman Snider, will find a place in your heart by the end of the book. Despite it's simplicity, the story moved along well and was completely engaging, and this book is well worth the read.

I encourage you to pick up this book when you need a quick read that will entertain while reminding of you of the more important things in life. I strongly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.