This is a beautifully crafted story. The voice of heroine Beth is extraordinarily crisp and will resonate with readers as she climbs from the depths of despair to the heights of elation. And although the story’s twist may leave some readers feeling uncomfortable, with his lyrical prose, Evans brings the magic of the holidays to life.

The year is 1989 and Beth’s life is coming apart at the seams. After her seemingly perfect husband reveals that he is a cheater and then dies quickly of cancer, Beth is left alone to face a mountain of bills and the mysterious illness that is slowly killing her beloved daughter. However, the universe has a holiday surprise in store for Beth, in the shape of handsome stranger Matthew. But as Matthew becomes a rejuvenating force in her life, Beth is forced to wonder — what dark secrets is this mysterious man hiding? (Simon & Schuster, Oct., 334 pp., $19.99)

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Reviewed by: 
Kate Girard