Whimsical is not quite the right word for Melody Carlson’s book The Christmas Shoppe. Perhaps some of you will understand it this way: Nanny McPhee opens a shop in a small town.

The real treasures of this world cannot be purchased with any sum of money. But they can be given away for free.

Book Description from Amazon

The Christmas Shoppe front coverThe small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town’s quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn’t fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.

Once again, Melody Carlson delivers a Christmas story that will touch hearts and delight the senses. Sure to be a classic, The Christmas Shoppe is filled with the special magic the best Christmas stories share–that intangible mixture of nostalgia, joy, and a little bit of magic.


What I Thought

As I learned more about Matilda Honeycutt through the story, thoughts of Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee came to mind. This odd but sweet woman was unconcerned with what others thought. She was in town for a purpose.

The back stories of the people became important, but Melody Carlson did a great job of not telling us more than we needed to know for the story in progress. I loved the variety of pain she shared and the profound emotional healings that resulted after encounters with Matilda.

I also liked that the interactions between Matilda and the people of the town were spread out, and that not everything was instantly fixed once key characters realized what they were doing and why.

The Bottom Line – 4 stars

I enjoyed this light-hearted story and appreciated the healing Matilda brought to those who bothered to give her time. It’s a good story for those who want to ease into the Christmas spirit without the full-blown scenic paraphernalia that typically goes with Christmas. And at just 177 pages, it’s a good weekend read.

About the Author

Melody CarlsonMy husband Chris and I live in a cabin-style home next to the National Forest in the beautiful Cascade Mountain area of the Pacific Northwest. Our two grown sons and granddaughter live nearby and we try to see them as often as we can. We also have two re-homed pets to make life more interesting: our yellow Labrador retriever Audrey and a Maine coon cat named Harry.

To read more about Melody Carlson and her books, click here.


If you’d like to read more of my book reviews, please click here.


DISCLOSURE: I purchased this book on my own and was not asked by the author or publisher for a review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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