Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor - Lisa Kleypas One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother, Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word. The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic. Normally, I cannot rate a short story higher than 3 stars as the characters tend to be under developed and I'm left wanting not in a good way. This seasonal treat, however, is something special. I really liked the subtlety of the themes of the season without having to resort to the typical, traditional messages you normally find in holiday stories. The focus was on untraditional families who are slowly transforming as a result of one little girl whose influence is also understated. Loss, commitment, and the complexity of emotions are explored here in less than 230 pages and were dealt with effectively. This is a charming start to a promising series and I'm looking forward to delving deeper into these characters, especially the enigmatic Alex. I wish this book had been a little longer but then, I think, the beauty of the message may have gotten diluted.