A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews- Feature and Review


From Mary Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.

When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn't bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it's a full-time job sorting through all of it.

At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it's from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?

Ivy's quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.



The Santa SuitThe Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews is a 2021 St. Martin’s Press publication.

An endearing Christmas yarn…

Ivy Perkins, on the heels of a very painful divorce, buys an old farmhouse without ever having seen it in person. When Ezra, her real estate agent, hands her the keys to the house, she’s shocked to discover the house is furnished, and in need of big-time repairs.

While going through some of the things left in the house, Ivy finds an old Santa suit, with a poignant note inside one of the pockets. She’s so touched by it, she goes in search of the letter writer.

Meanwhile, Ivy makes new friends, while she and Ezra ponders the growing attraction between them…

The past few years, I have not had much luck with holiday fare. It was either too saccharine or too hollow. Authors' couldn’t seem to strike the right balance for me.

Maybe Mary Kay Andrews heard my pleas because this book has a healthy amount of holiday spirit without overdoing it.

Novella length tales often suffer from a lack of character development and the romantic elements usually feel rushed or forced. The character development is not really the point of this tale, but yes, the romance was hurried- but not necessarily forced. I did feel some chemistry there. I just wish there had been time for more of a build-up.

That said, the Santa suit thread was golden! I loved the way Andrews brought everything together. It was just the right amount of holiday magic, just the right amount of heartwarming, and just the right amount of whimsy and charm.

Ivy rose to the occasion more than once, and it is obvious she’s found her tribe. She regained all the things she thought she had lost, and then some!

Overall, my first holiday read of 2021 is a winner!!




MARY KAY ANDREWS is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels (including Hello, Summer; Sunset Beach; The High Tide Club; The Weekenders; Beach Town; Save the Date; Christmas Bliss; Ladies' Night; Spring Fever; and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin's Press, as well as Savannah Breeze; Blue Christmas; Hissy Fit; Little Bitty Lies; and Savannah Blues, all Harper Collins), and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook.

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