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Review: A Lowcountry Christmas

November 8, 2016


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!

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 8, 2016 6:28 am

    Great review – I loved this one!

  2. November 8, 2016 7:14 am

    I don’t do much holiday reading, but may have to make an exception now.

  3. November 8, 2016 8:17 am

    Sounds heavier than most Christmas stories but also more authentic in a way. Glad to know it has a happy ending, though!

  4. November 8, 2016 8:57 am

    Sounds really good. Definitely the season for such books!

  5. November 8, 2016 9:15 am

    Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal, talks about, among other things, how pets help the elderly who have dementia. Although I’m not a pet person, I’m definitely beginning to see how effective pets can be in a variety of situations.

  6. November 8, 2016 9:47 am

    So glad you loved this one. I am just about to start reading. I did request the audio from the library because I enjoy her books on audio as well.

  7. November 8, 2016 10:44 am

    I want this one! I joined the holiday readathon but are using books I already had on my kindle, for the most part, so kind of clean sweep your tbr pile too. But I should visit my library asap and see if this is available in any form for me. I like that it’s not just a fluffy, lightweight story, and would like to learn more about Pets for Vets. Thanks!

  8. Diane permalink
    November 8, 2016 10:45 am

    Sounds like a nice December selection.

  9. November 8, 2016 11:13 am

    I love this author, and I’ve been eyeing this book. Thanks for sharing!

  10. November 8, 2016 1:15 pm

    I like the author but I’m not a big fan of holiday books. I love books that include recipes!

  11. November 8, 2016 3:58 pm

    I’d still read it on xmas 😉

  12. Patty permalink
    November 8, 2016 6:02 pm

    Sounds yummy! I remember when you interviewed Natalie Dupree! I used to love her cooking show!

  13. November 9, 2016 12:06 am

    This sounds like a wonderful yet real holiday read, Kathy. I’m glad you adored it. I want to find out more about Pets for Vets. Excellent review!

  14. November 9, 2016 1:53 pm

    This sounds lovely!

  15. bookingmama permalink
    November 10, 2016 7:52 am

    Loved this one. And your review reminded me that I would love to read more of her books!

  16. November 10, 2016 8:42 am

    Great review Kathy. I’ve read and loved some of Monroe’s novels and have this one on my ‘ToRead’ list.

  17. November 13, 2016 5:41 pm

    I haven’t read any of her books, this one sounds like a good place to start.

  18. The Cue Card permalink
    November 14, 2016 4:49 pm

    Christmas & service dogs — what’s not to like? Sounds warm-hearted by the end. thx for the tip

  19. November 18, 2016 10:04 pm

    This sounds like a great book because of the reality of the hardships but also the happy ending. I haven’t read Monroe yet.

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