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Reviewed by Charles Remington for Readers' Favorite
Jenny Eggleton has graduated with an MA in Political Science but is unable to find immediate employment, so she is currently working in her Aunt Molly’s flower shop in the picturesque town of Bristol Pines. Not that she minds very much - the town is an off-the-beaten-track ski resort and a wonderful place to be, especially in the run-up to Christmas. Bryan Sotherby is another graduate who is helping his father with the family Christmas tree business - a business which is failing, while Bryan, frustratingly, is unable to convince his father to diversify or change direction. A Bristol Pines Christmas by Bob Mandala tells how the pair are brought together by the annual Puppies on Parade pageant, organized by a local charity and an important social event for the town. As the snow falls and the Christmas decorations go up in the lovely town, new relationships and fresh starts begin to develop, but can Bryan convince his father that their business must diversify? And as Jenny becomes more deeply involved in her aunt’s business, will she still want to leave the beautiful haven she has found in Bristol Pines?
I must admit that I am a sucker for Christmas stories so I looked forward to immersing myself in A Bristol Pines Christmas. Happily, I was not disappointed and spent a happy few hours immersed in the attractive world created by Bob Mandala. The narrative moved along at just the right pace, peopled with characters who in the main were endearingly modest and unremittingly nice. Mandala writes with a light touch, so his descriptions did not clutter the storyline but were sufficient to impart a clear picture of his imagined town. I thoroughly enjoyed A Bristol Pines Christmas and do not hesitate to recommend it as a first-class Christmas story and an excellent feel-good read.