Fans of Debbie Macomber look forward to her yearly Christmas
book that traditionally takes place in the fictional town of Cedar
Cove, Washington, just a short drive and a ferry boat ride north of
Seattle. Readers have come to know and love the families that live
there and have laughed and cried with them through their escapades
over the years. This year is no different.
Mary Jo Wyse has chosen the road that so many young women before
her have foolishly taken. She believed the young man who promised
to “love her forever” if only she would
“demonstrate” her love for him. Not surprisingly, the
demonstration ended in pregnancy for Mary Jo and a cue to split for
the rascal, David Rhodes. After months of nursing her broken heart
and facing the inevitable comments and judgments of her three older
brothers (the Wyse men), Mary Jo decides to travel to Cedar Cove
and confront David about his responsibilities. Her goal is not to
coax him back but to resolve their issues before her brothers find
him and initiate their own brand of resolution.
Unfortunately, when Mary Jo arrives in Cedar Cove, there are no
rooms to be found in any of the hotels or motels in the area.
During her search for a place to stay, Mary Jo meets Grace Harding,
the town librarian. If ever a woman exemplified the meaning of her
name, it was Grace. When it was obvious that there were no rooms
available in town, she invited Mary Jo to her home and gave her a
room above the barn. She and her husband Cliff had converted it
into a stable for the animals that would form the live Nativity
scene for the Christmas pageant. Grace embraced Mary Jo and invited
her to enjoy Christmas dinner with the family.
Although Mary Jo was excited about her impending role as a
mother, it wasn’t until she started to absorb the spirit of
the holiday that she began to think of her baby as a gift from God.
It no longer mattered that David was not interested in being a
father. What mattered was that Mary Jo had found an extended family
that loved her and cared for her unconditionally on this momentous
Christmas Eve. And, while Mary Jo was contemplating her future,
resting in the room above the barn, readers are treated to some
insights about the other caring people of Cedar Cove: older
couples, younger couples and absent couples. All have had problems
--- physical, emotional and spiritual --- yet with the help of
friends and neighbors, all have survived and are now willing to
reach out to help others. Others like Mary Jo.
There is even a charming romance in this delightful story, but
you’ll have to read it for yourself to discover how it plays
out. Take a little break from the hustle and bustle, and spend a
few wonderful hours in Cedar Cove.
Reviewed by Maggie Harding, a substance on December 26, 2010
A Cedar Cove Christmas