“Stella’s personal life has deteriorated beyond her ability to cope. She divorced her husband. Her friends, all married, want nothing to do with a single woman. Her mother isn’t speaking to her. Her new neighbors have never spoken to her. Her furniture attacks her. She can’t even get the date right for the Christmas festival she attended in the hopes of gaining some holiday spirit.
Then the car in front of her on a dark, snowy highway stops at the side of the road and dumps out a dog, speeding away. Stella doesn’t realize how special this dog is until everything in her life changes for the better.”
Grace Jelsnik earned her M.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing at the University of South Dakota. She lives in North Dakota with her husband, their children, two dogs, and three cats.
Just before I hit the end of Christmas Bessie I was floored. I felt like I'd been blindsided by a twist that made absolutely no sense to me. I talked it over with a fellow reader and … well, we'll get to that later. First let's talk about the rest of the book.
I loved the rest of the book. It's full of humor, that made me laugh. It has a romance with the vet that follows the traditional romance story line. There is plenty of feel-good Christmasy kinds of things going on. And there is even a little bit of a mystery for our heroine Stella and her handsome veterinarian to investigate.
Now back to that twist. I can't say what happened. I can say that the story wouldn't have felt incomplete without it and that it made no sense to me. When I discussed it with the friend she said that it was making a statement on “the supernatural essence of love and devotion.” She mentioned a couple books by the same author she has read that had this same kind of element. I realized that another book of hers I had read did as well. Someone more spiritual than I am is going to react differently. (In fact, from further discussion my friend's reaction to this would have been much different than mine. She also suggested, correctly, that there were subtle hints this was coming along the way.)
So where does that leave us? If the book description appeals, grab it. If you're into spiritual or supernatural, expect a little bonus. If you're not that spiritual, maybe knowing something a bit off-the-wall is coming will lighten the blow.
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words