3 out 5 Hybrids to THE CHRISTMAS TOWN by Elyse Douglas

This month’s Book Hungry selection was THE CHRISTMAS TOWN by husband-and-wife writing duo “Elyse Douglas”. 

From Amazon, here’s the book summary: Traveling home for Christmas, two modern women in their 20s are forced to drive together during a snowstorm, and they get lost. They cross a covered bridge and, suddenly, they enter the past, finding themselves in a small picturesque Vermont town in 1943. They meet two handsome soldiers, who are about to be sent off to war, and they fall in love with them, while also struggling to find a way to return home to their own time. 

With the soldiers’ help, on Christmas Eve, the two women finally have one chance to return to their own time, but they are caught between their love for the soldiers, and their desire to return to the present. At the last moment, they must make the difficult decision and, because it is Christmas, a miracle happens. 

I was intrigued by the time warp concept — crossing a bridge in a Ford Fusion Hybrid and poof! It’s 1943? Okay, I’m in. The authors did a fantastic job with historical details like setting and rations, and even the styles of women’s clothing in the forties. But the book had some mechanical problems that kept bringing me out of the story. For example, my Kindle version had a large passage of text suddenly go gray for several screens before finally returning to black. Odd placement of commas forced me to re-read certain sentences for clarity and the occasional dropped word made me wonder if this book was edited thoroughly. For example, “Ann and Arthur looked her, peculiarly.” 

I could forgive mechanical issues like this if the story’s good enough but in this case, there are more problems. For one, the title is odd — there’s not much Christmas going on in this town except for the date. I kept waiting for some significant moment but other than the date, it appeared Christmas had no relevance to the plot. The main characters, Jackie and Megan have odd side conversations that I think were added for conflict, but felt out of step with the main plot. 

So why did I give it a 3? The story has an incredibly sweet romance — two, actually — when Megan and Jackie meet two adorable soldiers about to ship out to fight in WW II. The boys are gentlemen and I enjoyed watching how they handled these two sophisticated girls. 

Another thing I quite enjoyed is that Jackie and Megan are the story’s heroes. They had to work together, think things out, and plan accordingly — without relying on luck or on their soldier boys or even on ‘waking up’ (I was so afraid this would all turn out to be a bad dream, but the authors did NOT fall back on that trope.) Though they had help, they ultimately rescued themselves and I have to respect that. 

So, I’m giving this story a 3 out 5 hybrids in the hopes the girls can find their way back home for Christmas. 

Have you read THE CHRISTMAS TOWN? What did you think of the story? Tell me in the comments and then check out what the rest of my Book Hungry sisters thought of the book.