"The Christmas Secret"
By: Donna VanLiere
Synopsis from Barnes & Noble:
When a struggling young single mother saves the life of an elderly woman, she sets into motion a series of events that will test her strength, loyalty, and determination, all the while setting her on the path to finding true love. Christine Eisley is the mother of seven-year-old Zach and five-year-old Haley. Her ex-husband provides little, if any, child support and makes life difficult for Christine by using the children as pawns. She works long hours as a waitress to make ends meet, but her job is in jeopardy because she’s often late to work due to the unreliable teenaged sitters she’s forced to use. When Christine saves the life of a woman who works in Wilson’s department store, the owner of Wilson’s wants to find her, to thank her, but Christine has disappeared, losing another job once again. He sets his grandson, Jason, to the task of finding the mysterious “Christy.” Jason, an accountant by trade who has lost his job to downsizing, thinks he is “above” working at Wilson’s. Soon, he discovers that this new task gives him more than he bargains for. The Christmas Secret is a novel for anyone who wants to see how love is a gift that keeps giving back; that hope is a treasure that never runs dry, and that faith is a miracle that is reborn with each new day.
I read this book for one of my bookgroups...it's December so we had to read a Christmas selection! I had never read a Donna VanLiere title but she is a very popular author. She had written over 10 Christmas themed books, so it was kind of surprising to find an author that was new to me.
Christmas Secret is definitely an inspirational title although its not marketed as that. A sweet book, "The Chrsitmas Secret" tells the story of a single mom trying to make it in our rough and tumble world and the people who surround her both good and bad. I think the heart of the story is in the townspeople and its where I found the most enjoyment. The secretive waitresses, the onery old ladies, nosy neighbors, excited children, evil ex-husbands, and honest friends created the makeup of the town. I enjoyed hearing how these characters came together to help this family during the Holiday season...and there is even a little romance to tide you over too!
The only thing I really disliked about this story was the author's assumptions that we knew more than what she actually told us. Several instances I had to reread passages to understand who was doing what and why. As the reader, you had to infer quite a bit. Some of the character's motivations seemed to come out of left field while other things I would have enjoyed hearing about were glossed over.
The Christmas Secret is a cute, quick Chrsitmas read that I enjoyed. I probably won't pick up another one of her stories unless it is a Book Club selection but this one I'm happy I read.