Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Melody Carlson's The Christmas Dog ~ Reviewed
THE CHRISTMAS DOG
By Melody Carlson
Published by Revell
Betty Kowalski isn’t looking forward to the holidays. She just can’t seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it’s because her husband is gone. Maybe it’s because she’s missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.
But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is all about.
Melody Carlson is such a talented and diversified author, so when the opportunity came to receive a review copy of her new Christmas book, I jumped at the chance to read it! Each of Melody’s books has its own voice and style. That’s what I love about her writing. The Christmas Dog is no exception. Melody writes this book in the point of view of Betty Kowalski, an elderly woman who’s preparing for a 50th Anniversary party for her friends right before Christmas. Out of the blue, her granddaughter, Avery, shows up and wants to help with the party decorations.
Betty discovers a little dog at their back door while Avery is visiting and wants to give it to the pound and would have if Avery hadn’t asked to keep the dog.. Betty’s never had a dog and this one is dirty. Avery tells her grandma that she will take care of everything, and not to worry. Could she trust Avery? Avery was so happy about the dog, Betty gives in.
Betty remembers what her mother says,” I do remember my mother once telling me that kindness builds bridges.”
This reminds Betty of her pastor and his recent sermon. She remembers, “How was it possible to love someone so completely disagreeable and inconsiderate and downright evil? Really, she thought as she stood up, even Pastor Gordon would be singing a different tune if he was forced to live next to Jack Jones." Now her granddaughter was here and wanted to keep this dog. God was doing a work on her, Betty could sense it.
God moves in mysterious ways and will stir our hearts to do His will if we let Him. Melody has penned a heart warming story that will leave you satisfied and get you in the spirit of Christmas cheer and ready to pass on God’s love.
Finding Hope Through Fiction
A sweet Christmas story that is predictable and full of difficult characters who grow and change. Betty is a lonely and embittered elderly woman who knows the goings-on of the neighbors but has lost touch with the neighbors as people. Jack spends his nights littering his yard with debris and tearing apart his house. Or is it his house? Then there is Avery, a step-granddaughter with a chip on her shoulder and a controlling mom. Finally, a brown bundle of fur who just shows up one day and mixes things up for everyone.
Christmas book collectors may want to look into this one especially if they are dog story fans.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer