I look forward to reading Melody Carlson’s annual Christmas story every fall. This year she has given us A Christmas in the Alps which takes readers to the French Alps. Simone Winthrop just lost her Grandma Betty, and she is busy clearing out her cluttered home. She comes across a letter written to her by her great-grandmother and namesake who has since passed away. Simone is told in the letter that there is a treasure her namesake left behind in Avre when she departed France in the 1940s with the American airman who would become her husband. Her great-grandmother wants Simone to have to the treasure, but she does not provide further details. Simone’s best friend, Andrea convinces her go on the adventure to France. I got to take the journey with Simone to Paris and then Avre. France in December sounds enchanting especially the Christmas markets. I found A Christmas in the Alps to be well-written with steady pacing. This is a short but engaging tale. Simone meets Kyle on the plane and finds herself attracted to him. Unfortunately, Simone fails to get his last name or number before Kyle rushes to catch his flight to Oslo. We wonder if they will meet again. The romance is sweet and plays out slowly. I enjoyed the descriptions of Avre and the factory that makes watches and clocks. The village has an old-world charm that is magical especially at Christmas. Simone gets a chance to search for family and the treasure. There is a light Christian element that emphasizes the importance of prayer and leaving our troubles with in God’s hands. A Christmas in the Alps is a story about family and forgiveness. You do not want to wait until it is too late because then you may never get that chance to make amends with someone important. This is a lovely novella, but I found it lacking the humor and magic of Melody Carlson’s earlier Christmas stories. It is a sweet Christmas tale, but I just wanted a little more. A Christmas in the Alps is a cheery Christmas novella with a lost letter, a furtive treasure, a petrifying plane ride, a charismatic seat companion, charming Christmas markets, secret searches, striking clocks, and an astonishing answer.
The Avid Reader