A Wish for Winter by Viola Shipman takes us to Petoskey, Michigan, a lakeside community where we meet Susan, her grandparents and their employees at the family bookstore, Sleigh By the Bay. Susan’s grandparents have a unique love story, and Susan has been searching for her own Kris Kringle. The tale that unfolds will delight you…..
by Viola Shipman
Genres: Women's Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Despite losing her parents in a tragic accident just before her fourteenth Christmas, Susan Norcross has had it better than most, with loving grandparents to raise her and a gang of quirky, devoted friends to support her. Now a successful bookstore owner in a tight-knit Michigan lakeside community, Susan is facing down forty—the same age as her mother when she died—and she can’t help but see everything she hasn’t achieved, including finding a love match of her own. To add to the pressure, everyone in her small town believes it’s Susan’s destiny to meet and marry a man dressed as Santa, just like her mother and grandmother before her. So it seems cosmically unfair that the man she makes an instant connection with at an annual Santa Run is lost in the crowd before she can get his name.
What follows is Susan and her friends’ hilarious and heartwarming search for the mystery Santa—covering twelve months of social media snafus, authors behaving badly and dating fails—as well as a poignant look at family, friendship and what defines a well-lived and well-loved life.
Viola Shipman has been on my radar thanks to blogger friends, so I grabbed A Wish For Winter for the Ho-Ho-Ho readathon as a winter selection, but it has a strong holiday theme as well. Susan’s life has been filled with tragedy, love, books and a childhood wish to meet her own Kris Kringle.
This is very much a women’s fiction selection, and I loved the small-town charm, rich, colorful characters and character growth. Susan has a tightknit group of friends and family. I loved the bookstore from events to celebrations.
The central storyline surrounds a Santa race where Susan meets a man in a Santa suite who might just be the one. Only he fails to meet her after. Her friends help with the hunt to find this Kris Kringle and along the way we see character growth, healing and more. The tale takes us through the major holidays, health emergencies, blind dates, and book events as the search hits the media. I could see the story as a Hallmark movie or motion picture.
A touching story from beginning to end, all set with a bookstore as the backdrop. While romance is central, the story is more about friendship, family and personal happiness. I loved the cozy independent bookstore and small-town in a big city charm. I highly recommend to fans of holiday chick-lit with well-developed characters and depth.
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