A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, November 12, 2021

FLASHBACK FRIDAY- A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe- Feature and Review


A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays.

Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can't afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.



A Lowcountry Christmas (Lowcountry Summer #5)A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2016 Gallery Books publication.

Circa 2010

Times are tough for the McClellan family. With the holidays approaching, ten-year-old Miller has his heart set on getting a dog for Christmas. Unfortunately, his family doesn’t have the means to afford a dog.

But, on the bright side, Miller’s older brother is coming home after having been injured in the war. His parents are relieved and thrilled to have Taylor back home. But once he arrives, it becomes apparent that he’s wrestling with some heavy issues.

Taylor is suffering from PTSD and as such has been assigned a service dog- a BIG service dog- named Thor!! Thor’s presence in Taylor’s life is a Godsend. Taylor finds in this amazing animal the type of patience, devotion, and understanding he needs on his long road to recovery.
Meanwhile, Miller is developing a resentment towards Taylor- especially after he’s approved for the service dog. But, on Christmas Eve, Miller sets out on an expedition, only to get lost. Luckily, he had taken Thor with him…

This is a rare re-read for me. MAM is one of my favorite authors and while her Beach House series is my favorite, the Lowcountry series holds a special place in my heart, too. This book is connected to the series, as Taylor is now married to Harper, and is looking back at a special Christmas in his past.
This story is one of my favorite modern holiday themed novels. It’s a touching, heartfelt story, that will warm you all the way down to your toes. Thor is a very important part of the story, and that is one reason why this one so strongly resonates with me.

This book can be read as a stand- alone- so if you are looking for an outstanding holiday story this season, I highly recommend this one! It’s so good, I read it twice!





New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured books that delve into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between the land and life. Monroe’s novels are published worldwide. She has achieved many lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA. She has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards, RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing and was featured at the National Festival of the Book. In 2011 THE BUTTERFLY'S DAUGHTER won the International Book Award for Green Fiction.

Mary Alice is an active conservationist and serves on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust, and Charleston Literacy Volunteers. She is a frequent speaker at book festivals, conferences, and private events.

Monroe lives with her family on a barrier island outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her new novel, BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES (May 2012), is the prequel to her bestseller THE BEACH HOUSE and completes her first trilogy. 

For more information, videos, contests and more, visit her official website: www.maryalicemonroe.com

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