Monday, October 7, 2019

Review: Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson

Christmas in Winter Hill
By Melody Carlson
Revell, 2019


Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?" Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?

Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you to spend this holiday season in a town you'll never forget--and never want to leave.

My thoughts

A trademark of Melody Carlson’s prolific writing is her yearly Christmas novella and Christmas in Winter Hill is a welcome addition. This is my first Christmas-themed read of the fall and I enjoyed it very much. The small town of Winter Hill, Washington is the perfect backdrop for this uplifting story of family and community. There’s a Hallmark feel to this story and I can easily see it in the future lineup of Christmas movies. That’s not a criticism, by the way, for I never tire of Hallmark productions.

“It takes a village to raise a Christmasville.”
- Mayor Richards

A new city manager who doesn’t enjoy Christmas and a town who lives for Christmas … now that’s a promising foundation for some interesting storytelling! Although there’s a gentle romance woven throughout and the yearly Christmasville production is key, the story’s main focus is on Krista and her daughter – difficulties that arise in Krista’s efforts to be a good city manager and their need for a fresh start, a place to truly belong. There’s a complexity to the characters and Krista’s background of growing up in foster homes – some good and others not so good – give a realness to her feelings about Christmas. Krista is easy to connect with and her daughter, Emily, is precious. I loved Krista’s approach to the seriousness of her job, as well as the way she brought Christmas into Emily’s life in spite of her own feelings.

Christmas in Winter Hill is an easy read, fairly predictable, but that in no way lessened my enjoyment. It’s a heartwarming story, with a gentle faith thread – a reminder of God’s timing and the need for a childlike faith in God’s goodness.


I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than two hundred books with combined sales of more than seven million. She is the author of many Christmas books, including the bestselling The Christmas BusThe Christmas DogChristmas at Harrington'sThe Christmas CatThe Christmas Joy RideThe Christmas Angel ProjectThe Christmas Blessing, and A Christmas by the Sea. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice. She and her husband live in central Oregon.


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