Goodreads ~ 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.
It's the holiday season ... Thanksgiving to New Years. Muriel is an author and twice widowed. Her friend, Arnie, has made it clear that he's always loved her since they were teenagers but she has always seen him as a friend. When he invites her on a European cruise, she declines and he takes their friend, Dot, instead. Right away Muriel is sorry she said no and is jealous of the relationship that is now developing between Arnie and Dot.
Sienna has recently moved to town and feels it's the right place to raise her son, Leo. She loves the town, her house and her job ... the only thing wrong is that she lives next door to a cranky man who yells at her for everything. Sienna must learn patience.
Olivia and James own an inn. When her son, Brandon, brings home his new bride, Meadow, Olivia can't see what he sees in her trashy new daughter-in-law. She too must learn patience.
I've read many books by this author and like them. It is the eleventh and last in the Icicle Falls series and I've read them all. Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone as each book in the series focuses on a specific character or characters and you get enough information about the others to know the background.
It is written in third person perspective, with the focus shifting among the characters and you get to know what they are thinking. These books always end with happy endings so it's great if you are looking for a nice "feel good" story. I like the writing style. As a head's up, there is some mild swearing.
As a bonus, there are some recipes at the end.