Tuesday, May 8, 2018

"Mackinac Island Christmas"
by Gail Gaymer Martin

Josie was supposed to meet her friend Carol & Carol’s son for a Christmas vacation on Mackinac Island. But soon after she checks into the hotel she gets word that Carol won’t able to make it after all. Her 2 year old son has been hospitalized & the doctors aren’t certain what is wrong. As Josie sat at lunch debating whether or not she should cut her vacation short, she meets Chris Banks who is visiting his grandfather who lives year round on the Island. Chris manages to convince Josie that she should stay. He promises to show her around the Island and help her to have a fun, if rather cold, holiday.

Chris tells Josie about the 4 year old girl he became a guardian to after his brother and wife were killed in a car crash. He is missing her as he had left Ellie with her maternal grandparents for the holiday. Josie inspires him to contact his parents and ask them if they will go pick up Ellie and bring her to him on the Island. The three of them do their best to make sure that Ellie has a wonderful and memorable Christmas. They also begin to help each other heal from past hurts and disappointments.

This was a lovely story. One of my favorite aspects of it was the accuracy. I spent 2 summers working on Mackinac Island when I was in college and appreciated the descriptions of the island. (If you ever get the chance to visit the Island, it is like stepping backwards in time.) I have never been there in winter, but the description of how cold the weather was matches well with my memory of northern Michigan weather in winter. There were a few spots where some typos slipped through the editing process, but they weren’t too bad. And how the characters interacted with each other and the joy experienced by young Ellie that winter on the island was enchanting. This was a very sweet story and I enjoyed it.

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