Sylvia Winters returns to her hometown where 8 years ago she broke her engagement to Joe Dixon. Stricken with cervical cancer, Syl moved away for treatment but never told Joe the truth. To heal the pain of his fiancée’s imagined betrayal, Joe turned to drinking and accidentally killed a man. Now Joe is out of prison and Syl is back in town but it will take a miracle to restore their lost love.
Lottie Sparks and her grandson, Teddy also live in town. Eight-year old Teddy lives with Lottie, his only living relative. Teddy loves his grandmother so much and desperately wants to buy her the old Victorian clock she adores in the window of Tremont Antiques ~a clock that vividly reminds her of her childhood. But the memory is soon to fade along with al the rest as her Alzheimer advances.
Summer turns to fall and Lottie worsens. With winter approaching, will a Christmas miracle be enough to bring the people of Dreyerville hope, love and redemption?
Honesty compels me to admit that I started reading this book with a few preconceived notions: I thought it was going to be a Christmas story and was not in the mood for a Christmas story in a warm August month. I thought it was going to be a story centered around an 8-year old boy and wasn’t in the mood for a romance-less children’s story and finally I thought it was an anthology story and I wasn’t in the mood to read a short story with no room for a well-rounded story or fleshed out characters.
Subsequently, I went into this story with low expectations but from the moment I read the prologue, I knew I was going to be proven very wrong. The prologue intrigued me and due to some personal issues in the past, the first chapter caused me to choke up and I knew this was definitely not going to be a light and breezy Christmas story. And now after having read the book I have to eat my words (or rather thoughts) and fess up that Kat Martin surprised me and wiped out my preconceived notions entirely with a well-written, beautiful, heart wrenching and romantic story that brought a lump to my throat and a fuzzy, warm feeling to my heart.
THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK isn’t a just story about a boy who wants to buy his grandmother a clock and the people surrounding him. It’s about the lives of a woman dealing with a horrible disease eating away at her memories, her everyday functioning and the ability to take care of her grandson. It’s about a young couple that was torn apart by fear and lies and is now trying to overcome their pasts and find happiness. It’s about an older couple finding their way back to each other after having slipped into their own worlds and everyday comfort, neglecting the joy of loving each other and each other’s company.
This was a book that is far from my usual reads; it is definitely a different style of contemporary romance I am used to reading. It was not fast-paced and there was no action or suspense. There was no witty fun and the heat level was far from sizzling. Instead I was treated to a story that was touching, lovely and heartfelt and to characters that were true to life. All the character’s backgrounds and history were touching, their actions were endearing and their emotions were genuine. I liked and empathized with each and every one of them. From Freddy, a brave and sweet boy who wanted to buy his grandmother the clock she desired and finds a new family to love, to Dottie who was coping with a disease she had no control over, to Sylvia who was reunited with her one true love whom she had pushed away to shield him from pain and loss, to Joe, who was left devastated by Sylvia’s rejection and slipped into destructive behavior but managed to overcome it all, to Dottie and Floyd who rediscovered marital happiness. They all won my admiration and affection and made this a memorable read. Kat Martin did an amazing job of intertwining the lives of all these characters in a realistic and subtle matter, writing towards an ending that was a little bit predictable but no less impressive or touching.
To me THE CHRISTMAS CLOCK read like the Wednesday night true-story movies I used to watch together with my mom, when I was a young girl and as with the movies I couldn’t but wipe away a tear on occasion and breath a sigh of content relief with the happy ending.
Rating: 7.3 out of 10
(ROOB Rating: 3,5 stars)