Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Christmas Town by Elyse Douglas: Spotlight and Review


The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas, is a new time travel, mystery, romance novel that was released on October 11, 2013.

Traveling home for Christmas, two young women in their 20s are forced to drive together during a snowstorm, and they get lost. They cross a covered bridge and, suddenly, they enter the past, finding themselves in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. They meet two handsome soldiers, who are about to be sent off to war, and they fall in love with them, while also struggling to find a way to return home to their own time.

With the soldiers’ help, on Christmas Eve, the two women finally have one chance to return to their own time, but they are caught between their love for the soldiers, and their desire to return to the present. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens.

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This is a nice holiday read with a bemusing ending.  Jackie and Megan are strangers, each wanting to get home for Christmas.  When all air traffic is grounded due to a heavy snow storm, the pair ends up having to share a car and brave driving through the storm.  They get lost in the blizzard, and somehow travel back in time to 1943.

I never really connected with Jackie and Megan. Both are cosmopolitan women in their twenties.  Their personalities seemed to clash more often than not, and they often bickered.  I did not find either one particularly personable, especially at first.

The journey to 1943 was enlightening as it reminded me of how many things are just taken for granted now.  There were some funny scenes as the young women acclimated to the times while trying to figure out some sort of plan to get back to their own time.  They are introduced to two young soldiers, ready to leave for war in a short while.  The young men are besotted by the beautiful ladies who seem so out-of –place yet carry themselves with such self-assurance.  Jackie and Megan likewise, find the men handsome and chivalrous.  

The story conveys the difference that seventy years has wrought on attitudes and attire with charm and humor.  I vacillated between hoping Jackie and Megan could find their way back to their present and hoping that somehow they would not have to leave the men they had so quickly grown to love.  The ending left me smiling, though bewildered.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

Reviewed by Laurie-J

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master's Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. Some of Elyse Douglas' novels include: "The Astrologer's Daughter," "Wanting Rita," "The Christmas Diary" and "The Christmas Town." They currently reside in New York City.

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