Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Christmas Note - Donna VanLiere

From the author...
Gretchen Daniels has recently moved into an apartment with her two children to be closer to her mother, Miriam. She and her children are building a life together in a new community when a mysterious young woman, Melissa McCreary, moves into the apartment next to them. She has few possessions, little personality, and keeps to herself. One day, a local landlord who is looking for Melissa knocks on Gretchen’s door for assistance. Melissa’s mother has died and in the coming weeks the landlord needs Melissa to empty her mother’s apartment. Gretchen reaches out and offers to help, but the apartment is a gut wrenching shamble of a home. There is little worth saving except for a few photos and a note that is discovered on the crate beside the bed. It is unfinished but in the two scribbled lines, Melissa discovers she has a brother and a sister that she never knew about. Even more shocking, she begins to uncover family secrets that show her who she really is. Can two very different women embark on a journey that explores a long-buried need for forgiveness, hope, and redemption? 

My thoughts...
This book intrigued me from the very beginning.  After reading the back cover, and finding out this author also wrote "The Christmas Shoes", I knew it was one I had to read!

If I were to pick my favorite character, I'm not sure I could narrow it down!  
  • Gretchen:  I love the interaction and relationships she has with her children.  She may be a stressed out mom wearing too many hats, but she will always be there for her kids!  She is also another example of one never being too old to want the best for your parents.  Her mom and dad may be divorced, and living in separate areas of the country, but she can be soo sneaky in trying to bring them back together!
  • Melissa:  I actually like her stand-offish attitude, she came from a tough childhood and had to learn to survive on her own.  Over time, with the right friends, she learns to open up, relax, and enjoy the company of others.  She has a lot to learn about family and friendships.
  • Miriam and Gloria.  I loved these 2 ladies!  It was hard to believe they have only known each other for a short time, they seemed as if they have been life long friends!  Their friendship is a great example of how opposites attract and can compliment each other!
  • Ramona:  Miriam's dead beat of a mother (and I use the term "mother" lightly!).  This is the one character I did not enjoy.  From what we know of her, she would be an example of someone who should not receive the "Mother of the Year" award...or even be nominated for it.  No, we do not know her background, or much about her life, but her attitude toward motherhood and parenting are enough to make me dislike her!
While this book was a slow start for me, it didn't take long to pick up speed!  I found myself enjoying most of the characters, cheering them on, and before I knew it, I had reached the end of the book!  I give this book 4 stars and highly recommend it for your Christmas reading!

**I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.**

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