How long has it been since I first picked up a Debbie Macomber book?
Although it is not that I have read many of her books (I’ve only read 6 books out of dozens), Debbie Macomber books are like comfort food for me; her books never fail to get me in a positive mood and in particular, her Christmas books have always been something I can’t miss out during the holiday season. This book is not an exception.
This book contains two Christmas stories and I enjoyed both of them.
Although I found the plot a bit predictable and I could easily tell what would happen just by reading the premise, this is undeniably a light-hearted, entertaining read.
I enjoyed the slow-burn type of love story between Vaughn and Carrie.
The story takes place in a small town in North Dakota, and it expands into a beautiful human drama depicting a strong bond among the local people fighting against a big conglomerate, Value-X putting out a new shop in their peaceful, quiet small town.
The author did a beautiful job in tactfully entwining a lot of aspects – a love triangle, politics and work ethics – into one and made the book such a page -turner.
I liked most of the characters in the story, but I found a bit difficult to keep remembering each character’s name. As the story takes place in a close-knit community where everyone knows what each one is doing, there are inevitably a lot of characters we need to follow and I sometimes had to go back to the point where they made the first appearance.
Although I was a bit frustrated by Vaughn not owning up to his true feelings until the very end (I wanted him to man up and say whatever he needs to say), but the ending was very atmospheric and beautiful. I adore this story.
Return to Promise
I personally like this story better than ‘Buffalo Valley.’
This is about a crumbling marriage between a couple of 5 years and I thought this is a story of love and trust.
With the obnoxious and shameless Nicole Nelson walking into Cal’s life, their marriage starts to fray at the seams; Jane adamantly believes her husband is cheating on her while Cal desperately tries to convince her the person he loves the most is Jane and that he has NO interest whatsoever in Nicole.
I wasn’t particularly sucked in the story in the beginning, but the descriptions on how the miscommunication drives their marriage on the rocks was quite engaging.
I found it was interesting that there were scenes that tricked me into believing Nicole may actually be a nice, likable girl – for instance, the scene where she tries to learn how to better do her job at a bookstore. Although it later turned out to be completely wrong, I found it an interesting twist.
Again, I was frustrated by both of the main characters; I just couldn’t understand why Cal doesn’t do everything in his power to save his marriage, offering whatever explanation Jane needs to hear. I couldn’t understand how Jane could be so close-minded and refuse to listen to whatever Cal has to say either. She blindly believes the rumors about Cal and Nicole and mistakenly assume Cal wants to end the marriage. How off she could be!
They should have listened to their heart and acted the way their heart spoke to them. I was awfully frustrated.
That said, this is something you can only say seeing it from the other side, if you are in the thick of a turmoil like this, I don’t think you can see things from an objective light.
From that standpoint, I think this story is thought-provoking. It made me think what is most important in relationships.
The writing was so compelling and engaging, there are points where I literally gritted my teeth.
But the dramatic last chapter certainly makes up for my frustration. It was worth a read and again, it was just beautiful.
This is a perfect holiday read. I’m glad that I read it.