Another of Melody Carlson’s annual Christmas novellas, Christmas at Harrington’s tells the story of Lena Markham as she attempts to start over in a new town. Although Lena has very little other than the clothes on her back, a few dollars, and the promise of a job, her hope of success is virtually nonexistent. An encounter on the bus with a generous older woman is the beginning of new friendships and encouragement. Lena’s own generosity despite her circumstances endears her to others which in turn raises her spirits. However (and isn’t it just always the case), her satisfying new job comes to a screeching halt when secrets of her past are revealed.

I loved this book! Carlson has a way of getting into her characters’ hearts and revealing both the good and bad inside them. I liked how many people Lena touched along the way with her sweet spirit when she had every right to be bitter about how she had been betrayed. It is such a wonderful story that reveals the true meaning of Christmas. I suspect that there will also be much demand for Carlson’s children’s book ‘Twas The Night: The Nativity Story that was quoted in Christmas at Harrington’s. Too bad it seems to be out of print.

I recommend Christmas at Harrington’s and plan to leave it on my coffee table for the season. I may just read it again.

This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Get In the Holiday Spirit with this Inspiring Christmas Story ABOUT New Beginnings

Just in time for the holidays, comes Christmas at Harrington’s, a tender story about fresh starts from Melody Carlson, the bestselling author of The Christmas Bus.

In Carlson’s latest tale that will charm readers, Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent.

When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?

Full of redemption and true holiday spirit, Christmas at Harrington’s will be readers’ newest Christmas tradition.

Christmas at Harrington’s
by Melody Carlson
ISBN: 978-0-8007-1925-8
Available Oct. 2010; $15.99


Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus. She also writes many teen books, including Just Another Girl, Anything but Normal, the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series. Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her books, including the Notes from a Spinning Planet series and Finding Alice, which is in production as a Lifetime Television movie. She and her husband serve on the Young Life adult committee in central Oregon. Visit Melody’s website at