Smile Your Way Through Christmas

Monday, November 29, 2010

I've had several Christmas books on my shelf since September, but I didn't want to read them until after Thanksgiving. Come Friday, however, I gobbled one up as if it were the traditional fare that graced my sister-in-law's table on Thursday. Both the meal and the book were satisfying to the palate.

A Door County Christmas is a collection of four novellas published by Barbour. I don't normally write book reviews, and romances aren't at the top of my reading list most days, but I figured this one would be fun because I know one of the authors and have read something by another. And all of us need a break from serious now and then.

Rachael Phillips' distinctive voice is distinctively humorous. This is her fiction debut, but when she takes her turn posting at the Hoosier Ink blog (, I can tell who is writing even before I scroll to the bottom and see her name. So I knew that reading Rachael's selection, Ride With Me Into Christmas, would keep me laughing, and I wasn't disappointed.

This is Cynthia Ruchti's second fiction book. Her debut novel, They Almost Always Come Home, kept me up late while I was attending a writers' conference in June. That book would probably be classified as Christian women's fiction (although some men might enjoy it, too), and it is a page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed. The Heart's Harbor, Cynthia's light-hearted contribution to this collection, is very different and, in my opinion, not as good, but it was still a pleasant read.

Prior to this, I knew nothing about either of the other two authors. Their contributions to this collection (My Heart Still Beats by Eileen Key and Christmas Crazy by Becky Melby) were also fun to read. In fact, the quirky but lovable characters in Christmas Crazy made it my favorite of the four novellas.

This book is overtly Christian, and you should know that going in. If you're male or don't like to smile, this book probably isn't for you. But if you're a woman looking for something light-hearted to read in December, you can't go wrong with A Door County Christmas. 

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