There has only been one book by Dan Walsh I have read that I have not absolutely adored, but that is not the case with Keeping Christmas. Judith and Stan are facing the possibility of celebrating Christmas without any of their children for the first time. Judith has hit such a fit of doldrums, Stan doesn't know what to do. Even their friends Barney and Betty are at a loss to bring Judith out of her depression. (Side Note: Dan--honestly, Barney and Betty? I am sure I am not the first reader whose mind jumped to the Flintstones in reading that.)
This is honestly the MOST romantic book I've read, the plot is not all ooey-gooey, yummy feelings and chemistry, but it shows the deep abiding love of a couple who have weathered life's storms and are facing another storm to weather through. When Stan sacrifices a dream to give Judith a Christmas she will never forget, it is one of the most heroic things I've read in a novel. Barney even comes through with solid friendship in spite of changing his dream as well.
In some ways, Judith's reaction is a bit over the top, but I understand her point of view. Her life had centered around raising her children and now that the grandchildren had come along, she wanted family around her. It was the noise of happy people around her, people who mattered to her, that gave her the spirit of Christmas. Judith makes small gains throughout the book--teaching other mothers and daughters to make Christmas ornaments, starting a new collection, and spending time with dear friends all help to life Judith's spirits to a degree, but ultimately, Stan has the only solution to the doldrums Judith finds herself in.
This book is one you don't want to start unless you have the time to read it in one sitting. It won't let you put it down. Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a homemade ornament with a memory attached.
My thanks to Revell Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.