When Muriel Sterling released her new book, A Guide to Happy Holidays, she felt like the queen of Christmas. She’s thrilled when the new tree she ordered online arrives and is eager to show it off–until she gets it out of the box and realizes it’s a mangy dud. But rather than give up on the ugly tree, Muriel decides to make a project out of it. As she pretties up her tree, she realizes there’s a lesson to be learned: everything and everyone has potential. Maybe even her old friend Arnie, who’s loved her for years. Except, she’s not the only one seeing Arnie’s potential…
Meanwhile, Muriel’s ugly-tree project has also inspired her friends. Sienna Moreno is trying to bring out the best in the grouchy man next door, who hates noise, hates kids and hates his new neighbors. And while Olivia Claussen would love to send her obnoxious new daughter-in-law packing, she’s adjusting her attitude and trying to discover what her son sees in the girl. If these women can learn to see the beauty in the “ugly trees” in their lives, perhaps this might turn out to be the happiest holiday yet.–from goodreads
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you want a feel good book this upcoming holiday season that will make your heart melt, this is the one you want to get. There are a bunch of different story lines going on all at the same time in this novel and the author manages to tie them together perfectly by the end.
Even with so much going on, it is easy to keep what is happening straight because the characters are so varied. Each of them has an “Ugly Tree,” situation that they must overcome in order to follow the helpful hints in a new book released by one of the members of the community. I loved the way the author used Cratchett as a name in the book and showed that even the most unlikely people can sometimes be redeemed with a bit of generosity.
There are a few different romances developing simultaneously in this novel and other friendships and family relationships building and being tested as well. This is the kind of novel where there is something for everyone. I thought this was a wonderful book and look forward to recommending it to others.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher, provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.