Monday, February 6, 2012

Charlene Reviews: The Christmas Village by Melissa Ann Goodwin

ISBN #: 978-1463646257
Page Count: 198
Copyright: October 1, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace

(Taken from back cover)

When Jamie Reynolds comes to his grandparents' Vermont home for Christmas, he just wants things to go back to the way they were before his dad disappeared. Time and again he is drawn to Grandma's miniature Christmas Village, where he imagines that life is perfect. Late one night, the village comes to life before Jamie's eyes, and his fantasy of escaping into it becomes very real indeed. He discovers that the village is called Canterbury, where the year is 1932. Jamie becomes fast friends with Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, and is taken in by Ida, who runs the local boarding house. But he also makes a dangerous enemy of the mysterious and menacing Jim Gordon, whose return to town is nothing but trouble. As Jamie desperately races against time to find his way back home, he is suddenly faced with a terrifying choice: to go ahead with his plan to leave; or to stay and help his friends, at the risk of never going home again.

Charlene's Review:

The Christmas Village is a simply magical story. Jamie and his mother are visiting Jamie's grandparents for Christmas 2007. His dad has left them, his friends have failed him, and he just wishes for a simpler, more perfect world. He is drawn to a miniature village his grandma has set up for Christmas. His mother tells him the story of Canterbury Village, 1932, and he wishes he could live in that peaceful scene. At the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, he mysteriously finds himself transported there.

This story was written for children, but I immediately found myself mesmerized by the story line. Who hasn't at one time wished to live in a different time? Written in a simplistic style, Ms. Goodwin develops her characters to the point that you feel you know them. Fantastical twists turn this into a fairy tale story that still deals with struggles many kids face, but in a fun and entertaining way. The Christmas Village takes you back to a time when good still triumphed. As Jamie lives in the Depressioner-era Village, he learns life lessons that help him to forgive his father and return to his present-day life a happier person. Good, quick read for all ages!

1 comment:

  1. Charlene, I'm delighted that you enjoyed the book. I hope you'll be pleased to know that I am working on a sequel!


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