Title: The Christmas Dog
Authors: Melody Carlson
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Opening lines: ‘…As Betty Kowalski drove home from church on Sunday, she realised she was guilty of two sins…’
Christmas isn’t Christmas without reading a Melody Carlson book. This year that book is THE CHRISTMAS DOG, which though not as good as some of her previous books, was still a pleasant way to spend a few hours.
Betty is an elderly widow who lives alone as her adult children have moved interstate. She is lonely as many of her friends have moved away and her familiar neighbourhood is changing. Even her church is changing. Her best friends from next door have gone and Jack Jones has moved into it. She is at loggerheads with him, and afraid, as she is sure he is some sort of criminal. He is never seen during the day and makes a lot of noise at night when he tears the interior of the house apart and dumps all the junk outside. She is really tempted to sell her own home and move to Florida where her daughter lives. She has lost the Christmas spirit completely.
Then a dog wanders into Betty’s yard – muddy and hungry and begging for affection, followed by her runaway step-granddaughter. So the stage is set – a lonely old woman, Jack the neighbour and a teen with a chip on her shoulder. Then there is the dog who just wants love, warmth and a home.
The ending of THE CHRISTMAS DOG is predictable and the book is wholesome and a very quick read. It is a Christian novel, but in all honesty I didn’t feel that Betty was committed to her faith, especially after what she did to the dog. How horrible was that! But her attitude could have been all part of the weariness, loneliness and lack of spirit that seemed to have overwhelmed her. There were times when I wanted to hug the dog and smack Betty but all ended well and that is exactly what I expect in a Christmas book.
Rating: D – Average – it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish whatever redeemable aspects there were to this book, they were not fleshed out enough for me to truly enjoy it.
For more about the author – Click Here