21 February 2016

Book Review: A Miracle at Macy's by Lynn Marie Hulsman

" This is the story of shy homebody Charlotte who loses her beloved pet dog Hudson the week before Christmas. With the help of uptight Englishman Henry, Charlotte goes on a magical treasure hunt around Manhattan to find her furry, four-legged bestie, who she rescued from the trash years before and gave him a place in her home – and her heart.

Spotted in Central Park as one of Santa's Little Helpers, or last seen in the arms of a supermodel in Times Square, Hudson leads Charlotte and Henry on a very merry dance around the Big Apple, where love, (or should that be Christmas?!) actually is all around."

Rating: 5/5

You can buy the book now.

I know it isn't Christmas anymore, but since I've had a blogging break for the start of this year, I have many Christmas book reviews I want to post so I'll try to trickle them out in between the non-festive reads that I have been enjoying too! One of my favourite Christmas books this year was the latest novel from Lynn Marie Hulsman, called A Miracle at Macy's. Now, I'm not really a doggy person, and since this story is based entirely around a missing dog, I was a bit concerned about whether or not it would be my thing. Luckily for me, the story was wonderful and the setting on New York was just perfect, and I loved the book very much!

Charlotte lives alone - her parents are dead, her aunt who raised her has a high-powered job and doesn't have much time for her, especially at Christmas when she has so many events to organise. Instead, Charlotte spends her time with her beloved dog Hudson. So, when he goes missing just before Christmas, Charlotte is franctic, and her aunt sends her assistant, Englishman Henry to help locate the missing pooch. The two are led on a wild goose chase around New York, trying to bring Hudson home in time for Christmas, but Charlotte is sure it is all in vain. Will Hudson make it home in time for Christmas to put a smile back on Charlotte's face?

As I said, I'm not much of a doggy person, but even I have to confess I fell a little bit in love with Hudson at the beginning of this book. He really was the best companion for Charlotte, and sounded so adorable! You could well imagine him living it up while he's being swept around New York while Charlotte and Henry desperately search for him, and you can definitely see why others took a shine to the little dog! The way Hulsman writes him as if he were a best friend for Charlotte is touching, and goes to show how important a dog can be to people - they really become your family as well as your pet, and this came across really well in the book, I felt so sorry for Charlotte!

Charlotte was a great character for the book, a bit of a lost soul really, but one that I really warmed to. She hasn't had an easy life, and is quite solitary. The way she interacts with Henry was interesting and certainly made for good reading. I couldn't decide if I wanted to see the pair end up together or not, because they seemed to rub each other up the wrong way all the time, but you could see Henry had a kind soul underneath his somewhat brash exterior. I enjoyed the scenes with him in, trying to juggle his job and the search for the dog, and I liked the budding friendship between the pair and how hard he worked to try and bring Hudson home for Charlotte!

I've been lucky enough to visit New York in the festive season, and this book brought back lots of great memories for me, so in that respect, it was the perfect read for me! It has been 10 years since I went to New York last, but it felt like yesterday as I read some of Hulsman wonderfully vivid descriptions in the book, from Central Park to the shops dressed for Christmas, and the bitter chill of winter in New York. Even if you haven't visited, you'll easily be able to imagine it in your mind thanks to Hulsman's writings, and you can see why so many authors set their festive novels in New York, it really is the city of dreams!

This was a really heart-warming, touching and enjoyable read, and although it is a festive book, I can certainly imagine enjoying it any time of year, especially if you're a bit of a dog lover! Hulsman has created a small but interesting cast of characters, and you'll find yourself taken in by Charlotte and Henry's friendship, as well as the desperate search for poor Hudson, all alone in the big city! The setting of New York just adds to the magic, and it was a read that I was sad to come to the end of. This most certainly won't be the last book by Lynn Marie Hulsman I'll be reading, and if you haven't yet discovered her writing, you wouldn't go far wrong by starting with this.

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