The Christmas Dog by Melody Carlson
Publication Date: September 2009
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
(From my own collection)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Borders, IndieBound
If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:
Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow from our local library: The Rowan County Public Library
Melody Carlson on the WEB: Website, Facebook
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
Christmas miracles can come from unlikely sources
Betty Kowalski isn't looking forward to the holidays. She just can't seem to find Christmas in her heart. Maybe it's because her husband is gone, Maybe it's because she's missing her children. Or maybe it has something to do with her obnoxious new neighbor, who seems to be tearing his house apart and rearranging it on the lawn.
But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn what Christmas is really all about.
I love a good Christmas book and this one really hit the spot. I won it awhile back on blog I was visiting and I was really happy to get it. I love Melody Carlson. I believe she is a wonderful Christian writer for young girls and women. Her books have inspired me, made me think about a lot of things and propelled me to action in some cases. The Christmas Dog is a wonderful story about the true meaning of Christmas and about how things aren't always what they seem.
When a new neighbor moves in next door to Betty Kowalski, she is less than pleased. Nobody knows anything about him. He stays up all night with strange noises coming from the house and he has a mangy little dog. Times are changing for Betty. It's Christmas and her husband is gone, her children have families of their own and she just doesn't seem to be in the Christmas mood this year. When her granddaughter Avery appears out of the blue, Betty is drawn into a family squabble and feels even more defeated for the holidays.
That's when Ralph appears. Ralph is the neighbor, Jack Jones' mangy pooch. Betty can't stand the dog or the man, but Avery is head over heels for the dog. Betty wants to take him to the pound but Avery wants to keep him. Betty feels compelled to keep him and see what happens. God works in mysterious ways and Ralph might just be the answer to all their prayers.
I really enjoyed this book. Melody Carlson is such a versatile author. She can write about young girls, she can write stories for women, devotionals. You name it and she can write it... I was really excited to read this book. I'm a strong believer in the ability of animals and pets to change our lives and I just knew that "Ralph" was going to be a miracle worker. Carlson gives us a story that could be taken from our own lives or those around us. A young girl, struggling to make amends with her mother, an elderly woman who is lamenting days gone by and an old man who is lonely and just needs to be understood.
This book really embodies the Christmas Spirit and what it's all about. The story is fast paced and well written. It is just right for this hectic time of year. It will make you sit down a while and forget about the hustle and bustle and remember that not everyone is having a wonderful Christmas and what we can do to make it better.
The Christmas Dog is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!