Book Review: The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Bus by Melody Carlson

Pub. Date: October 1, 2006
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Format: Nook book, 134pp
Age Range: Adult

ISBN-13: 9781441200921
Source: Barnes & Noble

Synopsis from BN.com:

Welcome to Christmas Valley – Christmas Capital of the Pacific Northwest!

It’s only two weeks before Christmas, and Edith Ryan is disappointed to learn that none of her children are coming home for the holidays. Her large house, which doubles as The Shepherd’s Inn the rest of the year, will feel so empty without them. And it’s too late to open the inn for Christmas reservations–surely everyone else has their plans made by now. In a town where Christmas is a way of life all year long, going through the holidays alone is just about enough to bring her to tears.

Suddenly, Edith knows what she has to do – she’ll invite strangers to book those rooms usually reserved for family during the week of Christmas. When the guest list shapes up to include a cantankerous old woman and a mysterious young couple with a broken-down hippie bus and a baby on the way, Edith wonders if she made the right choice.

My Review: 


Barnes & Noble offered The Christmas Book as a free Nook book for a short time. Having read another of Melody Carlson’s Christmas novellas, I decided to hop on the free offer before it was gone! (If you are reading this now, you’re too late.)  
The Christmas Bus is a nice little read to help get you in the Christmas spirit. It’s not going to win awards for literary value, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do.  
The novella, which reads a little like Jan Karon’s Mitford, tells a heartwarming story of a small town called Christmas Valley. The hamlet capitalizes on the commercial side of Christmas to draw tourists. But in Carlson’s tale, the characters learn a lot about the true meaning and spirit of Christmas. This story teaches about hospitality and generosity and serves as a gentle reminder to all of us to open our hearts at Christmastime.
While The Christmas Bus is for the most part predictable, Carlson succesfully creates a comforting, heartwarming tale. And she does throw in a surprising little twist at the end that I enjoyed.
If you are looking for a short, peaceful book to read in December, The Christmas Bus is a nice diversion and a relaxing way to sit a spell to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
Recommended for Christmas cheer!
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