Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

  
A Girl’s Guide to Moving On is a REFRESHING look at getting over someone, developing a support system, and meeting new people. 

I so appreciated that Nichole and her mother in law Leanne leaned on each other and really loved each other. Making them live so close to each other was a little forced, perhaps, but it made the rest of the story flow: Nichole running into Leanne during a tough time, Leanne babysitting Nichole’s young son, etc. 

The ex-husbands are slimeballs, but I guess even slimeballs have redeeming qualities. Macomber does a good job allowing for situations where the reader might sympathize with them, yet not quite take their side. 

As a romance fan who adores a good happily ever after, I’ll tell ya that Nichole’s friend Rocco was a terrific hero. He may not have outwardly shown sophistication or refinement on a regular basis, but he certainly demonstrated it at the end when it truly mattered. Likewise for  Leanne’s friend Nikolai. Nikolai knew when to step back and when to step up, and I could’ve just cried over all the bread baking going on. Read it, you’ll see. You might want to start baking bread for – and breaking bread with – someone special, too. 

-calliope

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Review: Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

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This is the perfect book to give to a sweet relative – for Christmas or a birthday or just because. Mr. Miracle is charming, easy to read, and a little bit hokey. Macomber gives us Christmas lights and a new outlook, after showing how Addie and Erich dug themselves into darkness.

The book is straightforward – no unexpected twists at the end – and direct in its message and moral. What makes Mr. Miracle stand out is its parallels with Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Addie sees how she and others CAN change and grow.

A beautiful and subtle theme in Mr. Miracle is the idea that although you can’t change someone else (Addie! You can’t change Erich), you can change yourself. And when you change yourself, you change the dynamic you have with others. Sometimes that’s enough to spur another person to change, or to make you realize the other person is just fine as they are.

-calliope

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Review: Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

20140417-215356.jpg The edition I read was comprised of two separate stories: Call Me Mrs. Miracle, and The Christmas Basket.

What I love about Debbie Macomber’s books (similar to Deborah Smith and Melody Carleson novels) is the magic. I don’t mean wizardry or sorcery. I mean a spiritual, magical change of heart that the characters undergo. It fills my own heart and reminds me of the beauty of my fellow man.

These stories are Christmassy, and I enjoyed reading them as much now as I would have in December. In Call Me Mrs. Miracle, Holly meets Jake Finley, heir to the successful Finley’s department store. With a little help from Mrs. Miracle, Holly and Jake develop a friendship, Holly’s nephew gets a Christmas surprise, and old Mr. Finley gets the best Christmas present anyone could wish for: peace.

The Christmas Basket illustrates how a petty grudge between two families turns into an embarrassing feud, one that undermines the romance of two beautiful people. One loving person arranges for two disputing women to work on a project together: filling a Christmas basket for charity. Aggression, blame, and making a scene at the discount store ensue. I cried and laughed with these poor women, knowing that at times I too have been too proud to change my tune.

These are feel-good family stories with distinct romantic subplots. I liked them for their sweetness, their love, their faith in humanity. And for their magic.

-Calliope

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