The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.pdf (USD-0.00)The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.epub (USD-0.00)The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.doc (USD-0.00)The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.txt (USD-0.00)The Christmas Secret by Donna VanLiere.mobi (USD-0.00)
did not like it
I loved this author’s recent novel, The Good Dream, so I thought I’d try one of her shorter novels. Maybe it would have been better as a rapid reading experience where I could skim, skim, skim, but I listened to it. Ugh. Ugh. So much bickering, griping, squabbling. I didn’t care for the transparent plot either.
But ….the worst thing? I didn’t like Jason at all. I had no wish to see him turn over a new leaf, become more humane, soak up the true Christmas spirit. The author did an excellent job p
it was amazing
Reviewed for THC Reviews
I can always count on Donna VanLiere to give me a heartwarming holiday read, and The Christmas Secret is no exception. I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the nameless small town where all her Christmas Hope books take place and would love to live there. The residents of the town really bring it to life, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. They’re always ready to lend a helping hand to those in need, and I love how all their lives intertwine into a beautiful, intricate
The author continues her tradition of alternating first and third person POVs. In this book, the first person narrator is Christine, a struggling single mother of two young children. As the story opens, Christine loses her job as a waitress due to circumstances outside her control. She’s been late to work several times due to unreliable babysitters and is given one last warning. The next day, her car is trapped in her driveway by the car of a older woman who has had a heart attack at the wheel. Fortunately, Christine is able to save the woman’s life, but her heroic effort is lost on her boss. Luckily, she manages to find employment at another restaurant, but her life has otherwise become one huge instance of the old adage “when it rains, it pours.” She’s constantly threatened by an ex-husband who isn’t paying child support, but who dares to call social services on her. She’s being evicted for not keeping up with her rent, and then, all the Christmas gifts she buys for her children are stolen from her car, not to mention, the car breaks down. Poor Christine just can’t seem to catch a break, but in spite of being desperately in need herself, she generously takes time to talk with and monetarily help another woman who is a regular customer at the restaurant.
The primary third person narrator is Jason, who is the grandson of Marshall Wilson, owner of the iconic Wilson’s department store that has become the centerpiece of the town in these books. While in between jobs, Marshall invites Jason to come work for him in his store. In Jason’s mind, it isn’t the ideal job, but having nothing better to do while waiting for his headhunter to call, he agrees. Jason is a young accounting major who has a slightly overinflated sense of self-importance. He comes from the city and doesn’t really pay much attention to the people around him. I love the lesson his grandfather teaches him with his repeated quizzes that business is not just about the numbers but the people. By the time Jason is finally able to answer the questions correctly, I think he’s learned his lesson well. Marshall also encourages Jason to volunteer at Glory’s Place, a program that assists single mothers and their children. I think Jason was a bit surprised to find how good he is with the kids. The thing I liked most about Jason though, was the gentle way he flirted with Christine every time he came into the restaurant. Initially, she gives him the cold shoulder, because she thinks he’s there playing spy for her ex-husband. In spite of her stand-offish-ness, Jason never gives up on trying to get her to go out with him, until slowly but surely these two start to fall for one another even though neither knows the other’s real name. Through all of his experiences with the store, the kids, and Christine, Jason gradually comes to realize that he wants more out of life than what he’s been pursuing up to that point. He wants a forever kind of love like his grandparents shared.
A few of the secondary characters get their own POV scenes. Marshall is struggling with a life-changing decision. Gloria (
The Christmas Promise
) returns along with her best friend, Miriam. The two of them become a support system for Christine. Patricia Addison (
The Christmas Hope
) is the social worker who looks into the allegations of child neglect brought by Christine’s ex-husband. Many other characters from past novels in the series have briefer supporting roles, or at the very least, are seen in the background. I’ve always loved how Donna VanLiere can pull together multiple story lines into one big whole. There are certain subplots that the reader is kept in the dark about throughout the entire book, but when all is said and done, they all converge into a perfect ending that could easily be tied up with a bow. I think it’s this cohesive sense of oneness that makes this little town feel so warm and close-knit. The Christmas Secret was another great read in this already wonderful series. I’ll certainly be looking forward to continuing with the series and eventually re-reading it for many Christmases to come.