Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd - with the help of a his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas - trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her. Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet it obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd's boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to the animals? As the Christmas holiday approached, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All of this seems overwhelming unless you've got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.
There is something so unique and special about Christmas, that I'm willing to broaden my mind and pick up a book I wouldn't normally. I don't know if it's the overly sentimental frame of mind that Christmas puts me into, but for about a month, I'm willing to read a book that exists to exploit every single one of those good feelings. I don't mind when the book I'm reading is so saccharine that my teeth could fall out at any second. It's not a reading experience that I enjoy at any other time of the year, but I almost crave it as Christmas time. Now I'm not saying I want to read a lot of it, but one or two books a season seems to be okay.
With A Christmas Home, Greg Kincaid has created a community that seems to come straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Granted it would require those lifelike paintings to experience some hard economic times, but I think you get the idea. Of course the fact that this book takes place in a small town in Kansas, the state I currently live in, helps that narrative idea along. His town is filled with earnest characters who are trying to their best to keep their town afloat and to do the right thing by all those involved. They are warm, loving characters that most of us would love to be around.
Since this is a Christmas book, and a Christmas book about dogs, you should probably be able to guess that everything works out in the end. It may not be what the characters envisioned the solution to be in the beginning, but it's a conclusion that enriches the lives of all those involved. Now I'm just going to have to wait for the ABCFamily Channel movie to be made. Maybe next year, during their 25 Days of Christmas.
Thanks to the lovely people at Crown, I have a copy of this book to giveaway. All you need to do to enter, is leave a comment telling me your favorite Christmas movie. You also need to leave a valid email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. You must be a US resident, sorry guys. The giveaway will run from now until 11:59 pm CST, on 12/2/12. I'm cutting this one short in order for the winner to get it by Christmas. I will use random.org to pick the winner.