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The Christmas Shoppe by Melody Carlson
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The Christmas Shoppe

by Melody Carlson

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17213109,188 (3.65)2
The small town of Parrish Springs is not ready for Matilda Honeycutt. A strange older woman with scraggly gray hair and jewelry that jangles as she walks, Matilda is certainly not the most likely person to buy the old Barton Building on the town's quaint main street. When it becomes apparent that her new shop doesn't fit the expectations of Parrish Springs residents, a brouhaha erupts. After all, Christmas is approaching, and the last thing the town needs is a junky shop run by someone who looks and acts like a gypsy. But as townsfolk venture into the strange store, they discover that old memories can bring new life and healing.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this Christmas story. As I finished the story, it reminded me of years when our family had subscriptions to the Guidepost magazine.

I think this is a story that is enjoyed based on one's openness to "listen" to the message and that message becomes whatever the reader needs to hear in the time he/she is reading the story. Just as the townspeople of Parrish Springs have many different initial impressions of Matilda Honeycutt, readers have many different reactions to stories. I think this one in particular can touch one's heart in various ways and for me that's the magic of the story created by Melody Carlson.

Sometimes we all look at old things as just something to be tossed in the trash but sometimes we gaze at an old thing and it reminds us of a different place and time and we realize that a treasured memory long ago forgotten has surfaced and all of the related emotions also flood our minds. This story reminds us that the past is always a contributing factor to our future but it also suggests that whether we take the past forward in negativity or positivity is up to each of us.

For me, it was the perfect story to read as the year draws to a close to view the 365 opportunities ahead. Happy New Year to All! ( )
  FerneMysteryReader | Jan 11, 2020 |
This was another clean, short Christmas romance with a little Christmas magic in it. I bought this at a library sale and I voluntarily chose to review it. While this is not a recent release, it's part of a series that Guideposts put out. I've given it a 5*. A newcomer came to town and outbid others on a great old building in a popular business part of town. She doesn't dress like the other business owners and she ends up having half the town in a uproar. It's a very Christmas time message to us readers too. ( )
  NancyLuebke | Nov 27, 2019 |
Cute short story with a message about forgiveness, peace, and love. ( )
  wrightja2000 | Sep 6, 2018 |
Beautifully written. I would definitely read more of this author's work. ( )
  mjkutan | Nov 29, 2017 |
Parrish Springs was typical small town USA. Then Matilda Honeycutt purchased the old Barton Building in the downtown area and things began to change.

Councilman George Snider didn't like change. First, the city hired a female city manager, Susanna Elton. So he tried to quietly make her life difficult. Sometimes he wasn't so quiet about it. That's how small town politics worked. When Ms. Honeycutt put in a bid for the old vacant building, it was accepted and that didn't sit right with George Snider, either. He had wanted to buy that old building himself, although many in the community weren't so excited about that. They had heard he wanted to sell it to a big box discount store. They all knew what would happen then. Local businesses would suffer.

Matilda began preparing her building for her business. She didn't tell anyone what type of business it was, but rumors were flying. Other businesses were nervous. Then a big sign was delivered to the old Barton Building. "Christmas Shoppe." Before the doors were open for business, rumors began to fly all over town. Not all of them were very nice. People were now being nosy, curious, and nasty. They picked on Matilda's appearance. They picked on the items a few have seen that were to be put on the shelves. It was all a mystery. No one could figure out this new businesswoman.

When the doors opened the mystery deepened. It looked like a shoddy thriftshop, not a Christmas store. People began to get angry and the other businesses on that street signed a petition to close Matilda's store down. But while all this is happening, mysterious things were going on. Susanna was baffled when she tried to warn Matilda what people were saying about her. She wanted Matilda's small business to succeed. But Matilda didn't pay her any mind. One by one, people entered the shop and their lives were subtly changed.

When I want a unique story to read, especially a Christmas story, Melody Carson is my go to author. Her books are refreshing, unique, and meaningful. I have read many of her Christmas stories, and my heart has always been touched in one way or other. This one is no exception. The plot is slow to develop, but holds our interest in many ways. We become engaged with the characters and with the town atmosphere. They are always so true to life. There is an air of mystery, almost a taste of fantasy, but always with a good heart issue at the core. I tried to guess what the purpose of the puzzling thrift shop could be, but as usual I was carried right up to the final pages unable to predict where the book would take me. And once again, it touched my heart. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy small town stories, light mysteries, a touch of fantasy, and a good sound Christmas message. ( )
  Beverlylynnt | Nov 16, 2017 |
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