Book Review: Hope at Christmas by Nancy Naigle

Title: Hope at Christmas
Author: Nancy Naigle
Publisher: St. Martin's Press Griffin
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: E-ARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romance

A recently divorced woman and her daughter look for a fresh start by moving to a small town that embraces them in ways that only fate and the magic of Christmas can explain.

Sydney Ragsdale is divorced, but her husband is still calling the shots. In an attempt to shake free from his hold, she and her daughter, Ray Anne, head for tiny Hopewell, NC to the only asset her ex has no control over - a decaying farmhouse that once belonged to her grandparents. She finds solace at The Book Bea, the bookstore she'd loved as a child during her summer stays.

Kevin MacAlea, Mac to his friends, is the local high school history teacher and baseball coach. Father of a twelve-year-old son, he's Hopewell, North Carolina's most sought after bachelor. His young bride abandoned him and his son just before Christmas and has never come back. It has left his son bitter about Christmas which is hard for Mac who loves the magic of the season. He's been the Santa here in Hopewell since the year Seth was born.

But when a catastrophe forces The Book Bea to close before the end of the year, everyone in the small town is feeling the loss. While Sydney is already off-balance by the bad news, her ex-husband breaks a promise to their daughter that send Ray Anne running away. As Sydney tries to figure out what her next steps are she discovers all of the answers are right here in Hopewell.

Hope at Christmas brought back so many feelings of the holidays. While I was reading this book, it reminded me of what the holidays used to be like when I was younger. Today, it seems, everyone expects gifts and everything on their lists, but they don't stop to think about other families and what they are doing for the holidays; that some children and families aren't able to celebrate Christmas. While reading this Christmas tale, I could feel the Christmas spirit in every word that the author wrote. It brought the magic of Christmas; the depth beyond just gifts.

This book takes place in a little town that has been decorated all over with Christmas lights, garland, ornaments, and window displays. It really set the Christmas spirit in motion. Nancy Naigle's writing was perfect. She explained the details of the town in a way that brought it to life. She did the same with the characters and the beautiful story line. I wouldn't have preferred the book to be written any other way. It's written so well that it could be read in one sitting, as Naigle holds your attention with the setting, plot and characters being so well done.

I loved all the characters from the book, with the exception of John (Sydney's ex-husband and father of her daughter, Ray Anne). My favorite part of the book was when Sydney met the high school teacher and baseball coach, Mac. He was this handsome single father that all the women drooled over in town. You can see where this is going... hopefully it's gotten you wanting to read the book.

I loved this book mostly because it brought back so many memories of Christmas as a child. This book will really get you in the holiday mood. It's a beautiful book form the beginning to the end. It will leave you smiling well after the book ends.

Are you looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit? Or do you prefer to keep your distance from all the holiday business?


  1. This author is great with her holiday books, I gotta grab this one up.


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