This book is sure to put you in the Christmas mood

You thought you knew what was inside the box.

Though it was wrapped, you could tell what it was. You shook it, upended it and picked at the tape, absolutely positive that you knew what was inside that colorful paper but as in the new novel “The Noel Stranger” by Richard Paul Evans, mistakes do happen at Christmastime.

Maggie Walther was sure that everyone in Utah was staring at her.

It was for nothing she did, except to marry Clive all those years ago. Except to stand beside him, supporting him as he dived into politics, throwing fundraisers for him and playing hostess. Except to be the last to know that her husband had another wife and children in another state.

Stricken and ashamed, Maggie had been staying home, away from crowds. She couldn’t sleep, couldn’t run her business, could barely even get dressed and her assistant, Carina, was worried. Couldn’t Maggie at least manage to put up a Christmas tree?

And so, on a freezing pre-Thanksgiving weekend, Maggie went to find a tree. And that’s where the holidays turned for her.

He was handsome and funny and helped her find an easy tree to care for. His name was Andrew and he offered to deliver the goods when Maggie’s car turned out to be too small for tree-hauling. She offered him a cup of coffee. He offered to help decorate the tree. She made him dinner. They talked and laughed and compared divorce-survivor notes. And in two weeks time, they fell in love.

It seemed impossible, really, that her heart could leap so quickly after being hurt so much but Maggie was head-over-heels. Andrew was responsible, kind, understanding, he was everything she needed. Carina warned her to slow down, especially after Andrew invited Maggie to Cabo for a week, but Maggie couldn’t remember the last time she smiled as much as she did with Andrew around.

Yet, how much did she really know about him?

Not much at all, as it turned out…

First, this: Fans of author Richard Paul Evans. Yes. Go ahead now, get this book. G’wan. Get outta here.

Now. If you’re new to Evans’ fiction, what you’ll get inside “The Noel Stranger” is a decent enough romancy-Christmassy tale in which someone has been hurt somehow but meets someone else who heals them during the holidays. As you will find inside other Evans holiday books, you’ll find extremely well-crafted characters and deep details that make it all seem more real, plus a snowscape and an argument that throws the novel briefly off-course before happily ever after. That makes this story formulaic, yes, but it’s as traditional and beloved as bulbs on branches and star on treetop and it’s going to put you in a good Christmas mood.

This is a book you can give to your teen and to Grandma without reservation. It’s a pretty fast read and it pairs fairly well with cocoa and a warm blanket on a cold night. For you, or to give, “The Noel Stranger” has it in the box.

More in Life

Prepare to dive into the inner workings of a library

The possibilities seem endless. Row upon row of books awaits you, each… Continue reading

This book is sure to put you in the Christmas mood

You thought you knew what was inside the box. Though it was… Continue reading

Holiday Safety Tips|Puget Sound Fire Authority

The Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority gives tips on how to stay safe this holiday season.

Alex Zaputil sailing upwind during a sailboat racing competition. Submitted photo from Vanessa Zaputil
Online schooling for one tidal wave of a kid

Alex Zaputil is a student in Tukwila who has decided to take online schooling to pursue his dreams in sailboat racing.

Annual scary story contest names ‘The Obsession’ as third place

Foster High School recently hosted its scary story contest for the third… Continue reading

Annual scary story contest names ‘Unsea of Trees’ as second place

Foster High School recently hosted its scary story contest for the third… Continue reading

The perfect book to read while snuggling

A dog says “woof.” Cats meow, horses neigh, cows go “Mooooo,” sheep… Continue reading

Annual scary story contest names ‘The Creeper’ as winning piece

Foster High School recently hosted its scary story contest for the third… Continue reading

A step closer to closing education gap for black students

A local organization in the Seattle area called Black Education Strategy Roundtable… Continue reading

Make handmade gifts in under and hour|Rockler Woodworking

There will be woodworking classes held at two Rockler Woodworking stores in the Tukwila, Seattle area.

Photos, maps, fun facts make this book addicting

You know? Of course you do, because you’re no dummy. You’re on… Continue reading

You’ll want to read ‘Dracul’ with the lights on

It was just a little scratch. You wouldn’t have even noticed it,… Continue reading