Date: 25th October 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.
Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can't afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.
I've loved the Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe, and what a wonderful early Christmas surprise to be presented with a #5 in the series - A Lowcountry Christmas.
It was everything I love in a story and it was just so good to go back in Taylor's life to when he first was discharged from the Marines, after experiencing a terrible explosion that left him shattered and suffering from PTSD. He can't cope with returning to his family for Christmas, finds crowds threatening, and his family are bewildered and find it difficult to understand.
The McClellan's are finding it difficult economically, Jenny and Alistair work really hard, but the shrimping business is in decline and they just can't afford the dog that Miller has his heart set on. So when Taylor receives his lifeline - the service dog Thor, Miller is really upset. And then there is more than one grumpy Scrooge in the family. In fact poor Jenny is the only one keeping the Christmas spirit alive among her men.
This is a beautifully written story, it sucked me in right from the beginning and I loved every word and minute of it. It is a perfect Christmas story and is linked with little quotes and references to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Yes, this could be read as a stand alone, but readers of the series will I think just find that extra piece of satisfaction with it. And if you haven't reached this series yet, starting with this one would work I do believe.