Friday, December 16, 2022

Review - - Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas: A Novel
by Courtney Cole
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 11, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

From New York Times bestselling author Courtney Cole, the Magic of the Christmas Season sends a woman back in time to the 1940s where she meets her own grandmother and learns the true meaning of family and the holiday.

Piper McCaulley doesn’t know which way is up or down. Her gran, her last remaining family, died two weeks before Christmas, leaving Piper to reevaluate her life. Did she really want to stay chained to the family business just to hang on to this old house? She didn’t care that her great-great-great grandpa had built it with his own hands. How could she make huge life decisions if she’d never even been outside of Alaska?

She needs to leave the snowy wilderness that’s her backyard and see the world, and since her gran left her a battered old compass, Piper takes this a secret message from her beloved grandmother: to follow her heart.

But before she is even a foot outside the door, Piper finds herself caught in a blizzard and wakes up in 1945 in the original home that her ancestors had built—a time when her gran was just a girl Piper’s age. Once she has gotten over the shock, Piper has the joy of getting to know her grandmother in a whole new way, a way that sheds light on everything Piper had come to know and not know about her own past. 

Over the course of one magical holiday season, Piper must go on a journey through time to learn the meaning of real love, home, and how a family legacy can connect one another forever.  

PJ's Thoughts:

This book reached into my heart and left me flooded with feelings. So many feelings. I never knew my great-grandmother but I've always been curious about her. Understandable, as she died minutes after I, her first great-granddaughter, was born. Imagine being transported to a place and time where I might have the opportunity to get to know her as a young woman? Imagine the impact that "meeting" might have not only on my life but on hers as well? Is it any wonder that this book spoke to me? 

The story started slow and, admittedly, didn't grab me right away. It wasn't until Piper landed in the past - where the majority of the book took place - that I began to become engaged, more so with each page turned. The stage the author set in WWII Alaska was brought to life on the page, complete with all of the hardships of the time. But in the midst of the deprivations, she also spotlighted the joy that was to be found in companionship, kindness, and simple pleasures. It wasn't long before I was fully immersed in both the place, the time, the group of veterans boarding at the family lodge, and the reindeer. The adorable, much loved reindeer.

Did I have to suspend disbelief to lose myself in a story where a present-day young woman finds herself sharing a home with her grandmother (at the same age) and the great-grandparents she never knew? Yes. Did I care? Not in the least. Cole made the story so believable that I never once stopped to think, "this isn't real." In my mind, and my heart, it was all happening exactly as written on the page. All those emotions Piper was experiencing as she uncovered previously unknown facets about her grandmother - and herself - were flowing through me as well, including the emotions of falling in love for the first time...with someone living in the past. You better believe I fretted about how that was going to all turn out when Piper was sent back to her own time. If she was sent back. I was so immersed in the story, so invested in the characters and events of the past as they played out that I actually didn't stop to think about that until Piper did...near the end of the book. And then I wondered how the author would possibly give me an ending that made my romantic heart happy. I mean, I knew she'd have to leave eventually. She couldn't be allowed to continue to live in the same space as her ancestors. I wasn't ready for two hearts who had fallen head over heels into a once in a lifetime love to be broken but how to solve the dilemma of them being from two different lifetimes? I won't give away any spoilers so I'll just say that I was very happy with the tear-inducing, sigh-worthy, fill my heart with joy, unexpected ending. 

If you're in the mood for a magical, heart-tugging, feel-good story of love, family, finding your path, and your happiness, pick up a copy of Home for Christmas. It's a book I will be happily revisiting every Christmas. 


  1. This story sounds great!! I'll be sure to get it! I sometimes have a hard time with going-back-in-time stories because it worries me that a character will fall in love with someone from the past, so to speak, and how will that work? I'm interested to know how this all turns out!

  2. Sounds good. Patoct

  3. I enjoy time travels and have learned some of the slowest starting books end up the best (not always but usually lol). Sounds good!

  4. I knew 2 of my great-grandparents. One of them was a mean and bitter person and the other was a delightful man. I knew why for both of them. I thank you for the terrific review and sharing such a lovely book with us. Take care

  5. Thank you for the review and recommendation. This does sound like my king of book. Time travel stories are favorites. I met one of my great-grandmothers. She was not in good health and I was in early high school when she passed. My husband's great-grandmother was a sweetheart, but she passed not long after I first met her. They both lived through interesting times and it would have been wonderful to be able to know more about their early lives. My husband's Great-gran came to the US from England when she was about 18. Her boyfriend informed her he was leaving for the States and she could stay or go with him. She was a pistol and I regret not getting to know her when she was younger. It is sad that so many of those early generations did not want to talk about their life. I know very little about the lives of my greats and grands. I appreciate the family research my brother has been doing. Going back in time to get to know them as young women would be fantastic.
    I am putting this one on my wish list.