Christmas Joy: A Novel

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Joy Holbrook is a high-powered D.C. marketing executive. She’s called back to her small hometown, Crystal Falls, when her Aunt Ruby breaks her leg. While there tending to Ruby and her farm, Joy meets Ben, an accountant for the hospital in which Ruby is staying. Being close to family and decorating Ruby’s farm for the holiday season, Joy gets into the Christmas spirit and finds herself rethinking her career path.

Christmas Joy is the typical story of a woman going back to her roots, feeling domestic, and rethinking her life when a small-town man waltzes into the picture. The only difference here is that Christmas is involved. Having Joy reminisce about her childhood holiday traditions was endearing, but the story would have been more appetizing if the romance had been more charming. Instead, Ben is an in insufferable character, and he and Joy get into too many arguments to have any real chemistry. Joy did need to gain some perspective, but there was no need to do it at the expense of her independence. Subtexts about Christmas-themed political correctness were off-putting because it gave the sense that there’s a “right” and “wrong” way to celebrate the holidays. Debbie Macomber’s Christmas-themed book Twelve Days of Christmas, while saccharine and simplistic, was a much better holiday romance than this one.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Trade
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date 2016-10-18
ISBN 9781250106070 Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Popular Fiction


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