The Christmas Town, by Elyse Douglas, is a new time travel, mystery, romance novel that was released on October 11, 2013.
Traveling home for Christmas, two young women in their 20s are forced to drive together during a snowstorm, and they get lost. They cross a covered bridge and, suddenly, they enter the past, finding themselves in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. They meet two handsome soldiers, who are about to be sent off to war, and they fall in love with them, while also struggling to find a way to return home to their own time.
With the soldiers’ help, on Christmas Eve, the two women finally have one chance to return to their own time, but they are caught between their love for the soldiers, and their desire to return to the present. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens.
I LOVED this book! Don't wait until Christmas to read it! Enjoy it now or at anytime during the year, and I say this because I was surprised to find out this was an accidental time travel romance! Normally I don't review the Time Travel genre, but wow! I surely enjoyed this one! This now means I will be open to more in this genre, as long as it romance time travel!
It is the current day. Two women, complete strangers. Jackie and Megan, both in their mid to late twenties, not even sitting near each other on a plane headed to Portland, Maine. One has her tablet out, the other has her phone when the Captain announces they must land immediately at the current airport they are approaching because a snowstorm is occurring and there is not a way they can make it to Portland and land safely. He asks everyone to prepare for landing. They so safely.
Jackie and Megan meet each other at the car rental desk amongst a huge crowd where everyone from the plane is trying to get a rental car. Jackie is concocting a story that her mother needs medication she bought back in New York and needs to get it to her immediately. Megan hears Jackie's story, and what is going on and knows she can help her out, so she inches herself up there. In the meantime, a man is asking for his reserved car. He willingly offers it to the two girls, thinking they are together! Now they can share a car together. After these two strangers do a bit of quibbling with each other, off they go together in a red hybrid Fusion! Brilliant! Until . . . they miss the turnoff on the road. The snowstorm is so bad it's hard to see to drive. The GPS is not working correctly, and neither are their phones. Hmmm? Odd. They feel like they are driving forever when they see a snow covered sign saying Hollygrove, then a wooden covered bridge. Trepadacious about crossing it, quibbling again, they cross the bridge. Once on the other side, almost immediately the snowstorm is gone, the sky is clear and they can see stars. Hmmm? What is going on? Now they see a car approaching. The car stopped. The girls thought the car looked like it was out of the movie Bonnie and Clyde. The man inside the car looked like he had seen a ghost! He asked what kind of car they were driving, and when they told him, he couldn't get out of there fast enough! They drove into the town ahead and saw what looked like a town out of a movie during the early 1940's. Tired and hungry, they find a Boarding House. They stopped and got out of their car and approached the Boarding House where they had room for them overnight, and this is how they found out WWII is going on. What happened? This Aunt Betty who runs the place is talking about rationing stamps, rationing, how her daughter went to work as a welder? She went on further about having to get a map out to find the places on it as the radio talks about the war and the different places. These girls are stuck in 1943!
Later, both girls meet two soldiers with whom they fall in love with, but they still need to go home. They worry about changing history if they stay, so they must try to go home, but their scary car is missing. Thus starts the mystery of trying to find out what happened to their car, as that is the only way they can get home. Did someone steal it? Is it being hidden? Was it that first man who thought he saw a ghost in the girls?
I liked how the author used the sayings they used back in that era. Great use, spot-on! It helped the story feel real.
An interesting part in this story is when gossip is heard about a man who came there one time and he was from the future and he stayed! What is going on? There is a lot more to this story yet, but that gives you the gist of what this book is about.
The ending was what I thought it would be. I gave it a 4 star rating because of the ending, otherwise, I would have given this book 5 stars, however, there is a twist at the end. It was definitely different, but I think this part left myself and a lot of others who read this book confused. Maybe if the author done it a little more clear, although perhaps that IS what the author was after? I don't know. I think it did throw a lot of people off, and probably made it hard to understand what exactly happened.
The way this book was written, I felt like I was right there in this town with these two girls because I could relate to the era so well.
One thing I did not like was the cover of this book. I don't understand why the church is on the cover? I don't remember anything about a church in the book? Is this for Christmas sake? It was not until I posted the cover of the book on my blog that I finally saw the figures of a man in uniform hugging a woman. What about the other couple? I think the cover needs work.
What this book did for me was to bring back memories of some products that were still around in the late 60's, 70' and early 80's, too! Also, a lot of wonderful memories from my Grandmothers and my Grandfathers and their stories about WWII.
I thoroughly loved reading about the advertising signs this book talked about, the products the stores sold, references to products, the scenario, etc. because I know a LOT about the 1940's from them.
One set of grandparents had a newly rushed marriage in 1942, not because of an 'oops' but because my Grandfather had enlisted in the Navy, and was going off work on one of the large ships out at sea. She lived back on the base but in a tiny trailer. When I say trailer, I mean a very tiny fifth wheel travel trailer. That was their home! She had stories for me, but mostly about love as she was a newlywed, and about living inside that small trailer. She called my Grandfather 'Dolly'. She had no children yet until 1947 when my father was born and they did live in there with my father when he was an infant and until my grandfather's service was over.
My other Grandmother had been married for several years already, had two children, and went to work for the war. Makes me picture the sign of the woman with her sleeve rolled up showing the muscle in her arm! My grandfather was drafted into the Navy during WWII in 1945 and I have the leftover ration books preserved in a scrapbook, along with copies of pay stubs, postcards sent home to her, and she even saved the envelopes with the post marks. She, herself, made a scrapbook while my Grandfather was serving. I am very lucky to have what she saved, and what I preserved.
I received this book for FREE from the author in exchange to read and write a review about it. It is NOT required for this review to be either positive or negative, but of my own honest opinion. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to read this book nor to write this review, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
About the Author:
Elyse Douglas (the writing team!)
Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated from Columbia University with a Master's Degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. Some of Elyse Douglas' novels include: "The Astrologer's Daughter," "Wanting Rita," "The Christmas Diary" and "The Christmas Town." They currently reside in New York City.
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