Review: A Lowcountry Christmas
Jenny is thrilled to have Taylor, her ex-Marine son, coming home for Christmas. He served in Afghanistan and witnessed the death of several of his fellow Marines but, thankfully, he was only injured. Now that he’s recovered from his injuries, he’s allowed to go home.
Times are tough for Jenny’s family now – her shrimper husband has had to dock his boat and is struggling to find work. Jenny has started cleaning houses to supplement their income. That doesn’t keep her from having plenty of Christmas spirit – after all, with Taylor coming home, her whole family will be together. Jenny’s younger son, Miller, thinks it’s the worst Christmas ever because his family can’t afford the only thing he wants – a puppy.
Jenny and the rest of her family don’t realize that even though Taylor is healed on the outside, he struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Taylor who comes home is nothing like the young man they remember. He’s surly, jumpy, depressed, and wants to spend most of his time alone in his room. Without telling his family, Taylor had applied for a service dog months before and it arrives just before Christmas, which makes Miller none too happy.
Jenny is determined to bring her family back together and needs to figure out what she can do to make that happen.
I adored A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS by Mary Alice Monroe. To start with, it’s filled with fabulous characters. My heart ached for Jenny – she’s so excited to have her family together for the holidays but her older son comes home with deep emotional injuries that she doesn’t know how to deal with. Her younger son is distraught because he won’t get the puppy that he longs for this year. Taylor is inspired by a veteran Monroe met and he comes across as very authentic so I’m sure many readers will relate to him. The point of view alternates between Jenny, Taylor, and Miller giving readers a well rounded picture of the family’s story.
I love the way Monroe included a relevant issue and a real organization (Pets for Vets) that helps veterans deal with PTSD in the book. It added a strong backbone to the storyline. I’d heard of both but didn’t know all that much about either.
Since this is a holiday book, it did have a happy ending but A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS wasn’t as saccharine as some holiday books are. Because of the way it’s written, this book could be enjoyed any time of the year.
As an added bonus, Monroe included some recipes by Nathalie Dupree in the back of the book. You’ll want to grab a copy of A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS for yourself and buy some for gifts as well!