When the library board in Crossing Trails decides that it is time for a new Santa Claus, Mary Anne McCray finds herself stuck with the job. Instead of a visit from Santa Claus, the kids of Crossing Trails are going to receive a visit from Santa’s other half, Anna Claus. Mary Anne must now discover Anna Claus’ purpose and offer some new insights into this Christmas tradition.
Meanwhile, in the quaint little town of Crossing Trails, not everything is merry. The McCray’s friends are facing a difficult divorce and it is particularly hard for their two young children, Keenan and Emily.
Todd McCray has moved back to Crossing Trails to help run the new no-kill animal shelter and be closer to his girlfriend of three years. He also brought the little dog he helped nurse back to health and has been trying to train as a service dog, Elle. However, Elle is not the easiest dog to train and Todd usually can be heard yelling “No, Elle!” Not only is Todd dealing with the stubborn Elle, but he is worried that his parents may be disappointed in some of his recent choices. Will a Christmas miracle descend upon the residents of Crossing Trails to bring about a Merry Christmas after all?
This is the fourth installment in the “A Dog Named Christmas” series by Greg Kincaid. Thankfully, it can also be read as a stand-alone.
I grew up in the country outside of a small town, so this story was very easy for me to imagine. The detailed settings and characters reminded me of that small town. Many of the characters reminded me of people with whom I grew up.
The story itself was very unique. The idea behind Anna Claus and her message to children being different from Santa’s was an inspired idea. Though most Christmas novels I have read have messages of family and love, I have never read one that challenged the Santa tradition in the way that this one did.
The characters were well constructed beings, very realistic, entertaining, and dynamic. The writing was fluid and engaging and the plot line is unique.
I enjoyed this novel very much and am very thankful that it could be read as a stand-alone as I have not had the opportunity to read the first three novels. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy heartwarming Christmas tales.
I received my copy of this novel from bloggingforbooks.com and have permission from the publishers at Penguin Random House to use an image of the cover artwork above.
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