Monday 4 September 2023

Book ~ "Bright Lights, Big Christmas" (2023) Mary Kay Andrews

From Goodreads ~ When fall rolls around, it’s time for Kerry Tolliver to leave her family’s Christmas tree farm in the mountains of North Carolina for the wilds of New York City to help her gruff older brother and his dog, Queenie, sell the trees at the family stand on a corner in Greenwich Village. Sharing a tiny vintage camper and experiencing Manhattan for the first time, Kerry’s ready to try to carve out a new corner for herself.

In the weeks leading into Christmas, Kerry quickly becomes close with the charming neighbors who live near their stand. When an elderly neighbor goes missing, Kerry will need to combine her country know-how with her newly acquired New York knowledge to protect the new friends she’s come to think of as family.

And complicating everything is Patrick, a single dad raising his adorable, dragon-loving son Austin on this quirky block. Kerry and Patrick’s chemistry is undeniable, but what chance does this holiday romance really have?

Kerry recently lost her job so heads home to the family Christmas tree farm in North Carolina. Her father and brother go to New York City every season to sell their Christmas trees but this year her father is too ill to go so she takes his place ... she has nothing else going on. Kerry and her brother, Murphy, spend the month living in a small unheated trailer with no kitchen or bathroom on the lot where they sell their trees. At first Kerry's not crazy about being there but eventually feels a sense of community as she gets to know people in the neighbourhood including a divorced dad named Patrick and his young son, an elderly man named Heinz who everyone assumes is homeless, a restaurateur named Claudia and more.

I thought the story was okay. It is written in third person perspective with a focus on Kerry. Since this is an annual thing for Murphy, he knows lots of people in the neighbourhood who are only too happy to let them use their washrooms, laundry facilities, etc. Considering it's New York City, I found it unbelievable that anyone would give them their key and free access to their condo. They seem to leave the tree lot unattended often and surprisingly no trees are stolen ... it's New York City! Given Patrick and Kerry have only known each other less than a month, I wasn't buying how they fell in love so quickly given the small amount of encounters they had. If you are looking for a nice Christmas story with a happy ending, this is it.

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