by Susan Wiggs

October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7783-2689-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books

This holiday season Susan Wiggs has given readers of her popular Lakeshore Chronicle series a special gift...Lakeshore Christmas.

The holiday season is kicking off in Avalon, and for town librarian Maureen Davenport itís a holiday of mixed emotions. She is for the first time the director of the traditional Christmas pageant and her beloved library is facing closure due to budget cuts.

Eddie Havens, a former child actor and recovering alcoholic is in town to assist with the pageant. Many years ago he had a drunken driving accident that nearly took his life, and as a result he was given community service, and that turned out to be assisting with the yearly pageant staged in Avalon, and which the entire town participates in.

Eddie and Maureen have completely opposite views of Christmas and what it entails. Maureen sees the happy families and traditions, and Eddie sees the crass commercialism and greed. Can these two put aside their vast differences to give the town a pageant that will be forever ingrained in their memories?

As pageant preparations get underway both Maureen and Eddie have difficult decisions to make and the choices they make will potentially not only impact their own lives, but those of many others. Eddie and Maureen are not the only ones who have to make decisions about the holiday, so does beloved character, Daisy Bellamy.

Charlieís father, Logan wants to take Charlie to his family home for Christmas Eve. Daisy never having spent a holiday away from her child is torn. How can she let her child go off without her, and yet if she accepts Loganís invitation to go alone she will have to spend the holiday away from her family. To be honest the decision is bound to be hard, and not having personal experience with split families I donít know what choice I would have made, but Daisyís wanting her cake and eating it too seemed a bit immature to me, when weíre supposed to believe sheís handled all her other life issues with a maturity beyond her years.

As the story evolves we as readers are taken between the two main story lines, and while the transition is often flawless there comes a point where one story line has to become the major focus of the story, and the other storyline is left with a very unsatisfactory cliff hanger.

From teasers I had seen I was expecting one story, and unfortunately thatís not quite what I got. While Lakeshore Christmas is overall a satisfying read I wish I had gotten more of the beloved characters of Avalon that I have come to know and love rather than an introduction to some new residents.

Reviewed in September 2009 by Sandi.

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