Sunday, November 28, 2021

Tree is Up, Holiday Tunes on the Radio; Christmas Novel Reading has Begun: The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

 I waited as long as I could, which was Wednesday night. Snuggled into bed with a Christmas book and was pretty darn happy. 

Of course, I started that novel, and had another non-holiday novel with me and I started that one, too. And then, of course, I started a third novel. This one I finished quickly. 

Thanksgiving was a chance for myself and my partner to hunker down and spend some quality time together. We made a feast for Thanksgiving and spent a few days just relaxing (as much as he can relax--he's always working on something!). We actually watched movies, although we had to start a few over because neither of us can stay awake past 9 PM anymore. Having a few cocktails may have sped that sleepy process along...

Anyway. I grew up in a big family, and my parents always had everyone to their house for Thanksgiving. It was always a lot of fun, with a lot of people. Now it's just Lee and I, and while I do miss those get togethers, I really enjoy it just being the two of us. Aside from a run to get the newspaper, we happily stayed home and puttered around the house. Friday I set up our tree and decorated his house, and now on Sunday I've finished putting out a few things at my house. Christmas has arrived. Tomorrow night we are going to a holiday concert (which we have to keep reminding ourselves is tomorrow night). Some baking in the next few weeks, some shopping, and I'm ready for December 25th. 

So, the first holiday book I read: The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews. It's a really fast read and only a few hundred pages. Perfect to ease into holiday reading. It was released in September, and I grabbed a copy from my library last week. 

Ivy Perkins is newly divorced and making a big fresh start by leaving Atlanta and moving to the small town of Tarburton, North Carolina. She's purchased a farmhouse known as The Four Roses. Only thing, is Ivy purchased it based on photos she saw on the internet, so when she arrives with her dog Punkin, it's a bit more dilapidated than she expects. It's also full of the previous owner's furniture and possessions. Great. 

Ivy has a lot more work ahead of her to make the farmhouse a home. As she's cleaning out a closet, she finds a santa suit obviously made with a lot of care and love. Inside a pocket, she finds a letter from a little girl asking Santa to bring her father home from the war. Ivy is immediately touched and intrigued. Who is Carlette, the little girl who wrote the letter? Did her father ever come home from the war? Ivy decides to try and track down Carlette and solve the mystery. 

As Ivy settles into her home, her realtor Ezra sparks some interest in her wounded heart. He's awful cute, and so darn helpful. Will Ivy be able to find love again? And will she find Carlette? 

I gobbled this story right up. I was mad at myself Saturday night because I couldn't stay awake to keep reading it. Delightful characters; Punkin is a lovable mutt, and the townspeople of Tarburton are all sweet and welcoming. Ivy found herself a safe place to land after her divorce, and the perfect place to reset and begin a new life. 

Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors, and I've enjoyed all three of her holiday titles: Blue Christmas, Christmas Bliss, and now The Santa Suit. All are available in a variety of reading formats. 

Rating: 4/6 for a short and sweet novel about starting over and finding your place in the most magical time of the year. 

Available in hardcover, audio, and e-book. 

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