After a hectic week, a Carla Neggers Swift River Valley romance is a perfect break. And, if it's a Christmas romance, Knights Bridge Christmas, it's even better. Add in the link with Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and it's a sentimental treat.
In 1945, fifteen-year-old Daisy Blanchard falls in love with the boy she knows she'll marry, a boy who shares a gift with her father, an "Ebenezer Scrooge", who can't get past his service in the war. And, Tim Farrell's gift of a candle will light the way into the future.
It's a distant future when Daisy, in her eighties, is an indomitable new resident of the retirement home in Knights Bridge, Massachusetts. It's there at Rivendell that Clare Morgan, the new town librarian, meets Daisy's grandson, ER doctor Logan Farrell. It isn't the most auspicious meeting, with Logan demanding assistance from the receptionist. Clare sees him as an arrogant man, not a loving grandson who might eventually be interested in a thirty-two-year-old widow and her young son, Owen.
While Clare is haunted by the past and her own fears, it's Logan who dreams of Scrooge's ghosts. And, it's Logan who challenges Clare to face her own ghosts, while owning up to his understanding of his own needs. About Scrooge's ghosts, he says, "I think they'd want me to embrace the possibility of love - to believe and live as if it's as important as work, duty, responsibility and all sorts of other positions."
And, that's what Neggers' romance, and Christmas stories in general, are all about, "possibility". A Knights Bridge Christmas is about the possibility of friendship in a small town, the possibility of a new future, and the possibility of a "forever after" love. It's a story of a charming small town, a little standoffish with newcomers, but warm and welcoming when it's evident those newcomers will stay and become part of a community. It's the story of a town where history and family are important. Neggers' latest novel is a story to welcome a reader, inviting the reader to share secrets of Christmases past and hope for the future.
Carla Neggers' website is www.carlaneggers.com
A Knights Bridge Christmas by Carla Neggers. MIRA. 2015. ISBN 9780778317593 (hardcover), 252p.
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book