Monday, November 5, 2012

Greg Kincaid's A Christmas Home

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer.  Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental.  Their friendship is sealed when Todd--with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas--trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.

Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown.  Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity.  The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.  But what will happen to all the animals?

As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all of the dogs.  Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn.  All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.

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A Christmas Home is the third book in a series by Greg Kincaid, featuring a young disabled boy named Todd and his incredible dog, Christmas.  I didn’t read either A Dog Named Christmas or the Prequel, Christmas with Tucker.  One of the best things about this book is that you don’t have to know anything about the other two books in order to get drawn into this one.

This book is different from the other books I generally read.  I’m more of a romance reader, but I found A Christmas Home to be very sweet and touching.  While reading the book, I kept thinking, “this should be a movie”.  I looked up the author and found out the first book was turned into a movie.

A Christmas Home deals with issues a lot of people are facing today.  These issues being a poor economy, having your house foreclosed on and having to leave a beloved pet behind, and local governments forced to decrease or cancel services because there isn’t enough money to fund them all.  Gracie is a four-year-old retriever who is abandoned by her family, not because they didn’t love her, but because they couldn’t afford to take care of her.  In a mad dash to probably try to locate her family, Gracie is hit by a car driven by Laura.  Gracie is then taken to the local animal shelter and taken care of by Todd.  It turns out that both Todd and Laura are disabled.  Todd has a mental disability and Laura has rheumatoid arthritis.

Todd and his family live in a very small rural farming community called Crossing Trails.  With the bad economy, businesses are closing up and thus the town is losing revenue.  The decision is made to close the animal shelter with less than a month’s notice.  This leaves Todd and his boss Hayley with forty-eight dogs and cats to find permanent homes for.  In what seems like a monumental task, Todd manages to pull the town together and do the right thing for the animals.

A Christmas Home is more than a story about a dog at Christmas time.  It’s a touching, heart-warming story of a young disabled man finding his way in this world while showing incredible courage and strength.  It’s a story of letting go and allowing a “butterfly” to find its wings and fly away.

Rating: 4 (For it's Christmas theme & it’s strength of the human spirit.)
Book Length: 242 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Purchase through: Amazon  

To find out more about Greg Kincaid and his other books, please visit his website.

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