Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review: 'Tis the Season! by Lorna Landvik

Here is a summary of 'Tis the Season! from the Random House website

Bestselling author Lorna Landvik shines in this delightful holiday novel of redemption and forgiveness.

Heiress Caroline Dixon has managed to alienate nearly everyone with her alcohol-fueled antics, which have also provided near-constant fodder for the poison-pen tabloids and their gossip-hungry readers. But like so many girls-behaving-badly, the twenty-six-year-old socialite gets her comeuppance, followed by a newfound attempt to live a saner existence, or at least one more firmly rooted in the real world.

As Caro tentatively begins atoning for past misdeeds, she reaches out to two wonderful people who years ago brought meaning to her life: her former nanny, Astrid Brevald, now living in Norway and Arizona dude ranch owner, Cyril Dale. While Astrid fondly remembers Caro as a special, sweet little girl left in her charge, Cyril recalls how he and his late wife were quite taken with the quick-witted teenager Caro had become when she spent a difficult period in her life at the ranch as her father was dying.

In a series of e-mail exchanges, Caro reveals the depth of her pain and the lengths she went to hide it. In turn, Astrid and Cyril share their own stories of challenging times and offer the unconditional support this young woman has never known. The correspondence leads to the promise of a reunion, just in time for Christmas. But the holiday brings unexpected revelations that change the way everyone sees themselves and one another.

At once heartfelt and witty, ’Tis the Season bears good tidings of great joy about the human condition–that down and out doesn’t mean over and done, that the things we need most are closer than we know, and that the true measure of one’s worth rests in the boundless depths of the soul.
My Review:
I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this book, because when I first opened it I noticed that it was compiled of letters, emails, magazine articles, and invitations only.  This is my first experience with this type of book, and maybe it is just the madness of the holiday season, but I found that I really enjoyed it.  I am also pleased to share that my entire book club liked this book also. 

Caro Dixon is a young starlett, who like so many of her peers finds herself living the party lifestyle and not really caring about those that get in her way.  She just wants to know when the next mind-numbing experience will be so she won't miss it.  Unfortunately for Caro, a writer from a gossip magazine happens to find out about every mistake she makes in the world and adds a spin to it that keeps readers intrigued.

When things have finally gone too far, Caro finds herself in a rehabilitation clinic hoping to change her ways.  She reaches out to people from her past as she makes amends to as many individuals as possible.  She is thankful when she finds that she can confide in her former nanny Astrid, and Cyril who owns a dude ranch where she spent time at as a young girl.  Cyril and Astrid don't condemn Caro for her recent mistakes, but only remember her as the young, innocent girl that they both cared for.  When things become a little rocky after Caro leaves the clinic, and it appears that she may give in to her weaknesses once again, Cyril decides to invite both her and Astrid to his ranch to spend Christmas.

Even though this book consisted of correspondence you can feel the love and strength that Cyril and Astrid both provided.  The Christmas that they spend together was really a magical time that brought the most unusual people together.  There were a couple of other surprises in this book that I won't reveal, but I will say that this was a very quick and enjoyable Holiday book.  I have come to not expect a lot out of Holiday books, but this one kept me engaged and it only took me a couple of days to read, so in the Holiday genre I definitely recommend it.

My Rating: 4/5

Disclosure:  I read this book for my own entertainment (actually it was a book club selection) and it is part of my personal collection.


DCMetroreader said...

This sounds like a neat book. I love the idea of telling the story through letters etc. Will have to remember this for reading next holiday season.

Unknown said...

I love books that are formatted like this. I kind of feel "naughty" for reading someone else email, though, LOL!

Anonymous said...

The format does seem fun.

bermudaonion said...

I love books like this and I think you're right - the format lends itself to a holiday book very well.

Darlene said...

I like books in this format. This sounds good.