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Christmas at Harrington's

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  2,307 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life after false accusations landed her in prison, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can ...more
Hardcover, 167 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by Fleming H. Revell Company
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Let me be a little "non-PC" here. I believe that you'll enjoy this book more if you're a woman. There are few male characters at all...and most are pretty negative. Still lots of encouragement and in the end a positive outlook.

I'm a Christian and while I don't recommend getting a lot of your theology or Christian thought from most novels, still you can get some encouragement or thoughts there.

I didn't get as involved in it as I would have hoped. As I said, I really believe that this will appea
...more
Brenda
I must say that I am guilty of judging a book by its cover, when I saw the cover for Christmas at Harrington's I immediately felt like it was going to be an amazing Christmas story, on the cover you find yourself on a street of any small town in the USA, you have a smiling lady, dressed in a red coat peering into a store window with a display of a Christmas tree and toys snowflakes falling all around her, its just beautiful and depicts the holiday season perfectly.
In this story we are introduced
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Let me be a little "non-PC" here. I believe that you'll enjoy this book more if you're a woman. There are few male characters at all...and most are pretty negative. Still lots of encouragement and in the end a positive outlook.

I'm a Christian and while I don't recommend getting a lot of your theology or Christian thought from most novels, still you can get some encouragement or thoughts there.

I didn't get as involved in it as I would have hoped. As i said, I really believe that this will appeal
...more
Beth
This was a nice, quick read to get into the Christmas spirit and pretty much just what I expected. I liked that the character was a bit out of the ordinary, being a woman recently released from prison and found it to come across as realistic for the most part. There were a couple of things that I found to be inconsistent (why would you set up a job for someone, but not make sure the owner was aware of their previous incarceration??) and kind of had me scratching my head.

Overall though, it was sh
...more
Maria
After eight years spent in prison, all Lena Markham wants is a fresh start in a town where nobody knows her. She is ashamed of her past and would love to forget it in order to live a peaceful Christmas and a better life. Will her dream come true? Is she worth a second chance? It is Christmastime after all, and anything is possible!

“Christmas at Harrington’s” is a story about forgiveness. And what is the best moment of the year to forgive those who were bad to us? Christmas, of course. The injust
...more
LadyCalico
I started out really enjoying this tale and thought I would be rating it 5-stars, but then somewhere around the time the silly Mrs. Santa junk started the story went off-track. It was like the author couldn't make up her mind what genre she wanted to write. It started out human and realistic which worked well in a story about a woman fresh out of prison, living on the edge of homelessness, trying to cope as best she could with gross injustice, but as the story went on, it dropped its aura of gri ...more
Giovanni Gelati
I have to admit that the cover is what drew me to Christmas at Harrington's. I absolutely love everything about Christmas. The cover depicts a snowy scene in what appears to be the main street in a small town. The street is decorated for Christmas; there is a beautifully decked out store window display. Pictured is a woman wearing what looks like a coat Santa might don, admiring the window display. It's such a warm and inviting scene; I couldn't wait to start the book.

Right from the start, I had
...more
Kristy
This is my second attempt at a Melody Carlson book... I'm thinking now that I'm just not a fan of hers. Her writing doesn't pull me in. It's like I'm reading something that's not even real (well of course it's not REAL, it's a book, but it should FEEL real!). This wasn't doing that for me. And the thing I didn't get at all in the actual story was why the owner of Harrington's got so upset when she found out about the main character's criminal record...when she had AGREED to let her work there, a ...more
Molly
Nov 15, 2010 Molly rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly by: Revell
One of my most favorite times of the year is Christmas. I love the colors, the feel, the sounds, and the smells. Yep, the smells! But I also love reading the Christmas stories that authors write, so, when Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson became available, I couldn't resist wanting to review it! Not only did it sound like a really sweet read, I fell in love with the cover. The cover scene really came to life for me and instantly captivated me for the story!

Christmas at Harrington's is
...more
Kristina
Lena Markham is an ex-con being released just a few short weeks before Christmas. With no family to return to, she makes her new home in New Haven and arrives filled with both apprehension and a small amount of hope. After locating the boardinghouse at which she will be staying she attends church at the request of an older woman next to whom she sat on the bus on the way to New Haven. Between Moira, and a few other well-planned characters, Lena begins to learn that she is not hopeless, but indee ...more
Nora St Laurent
Since I’m a huge Melody Carlson fan, I was thrilled to receive this review copy of Christmas at Harrington’s. Melody knows how to tell a story to prepare your heart and mind for Christmas. Reading this book is the perfect way to start the holiday season. This novel opens with Lena Markham heading to New Haven for a fresh start.

Lena quickly adjusts to this new town and finds herself helping out a neighbor by watching her daughter, Jemima, as she looks for a job. Lena discovers an unexpected job
...more
C.J. Darlington
I do not normally read Christmas books. And yet when I picked this one up, I couldn't stop reading it. Would make a perfect Hallmark Channel movie! In fact, it reminds me a little of A Season of Miracles.
Laura
Christmas at Harrington's by author Melody Carlson, is a delightful book that has, at its core, the true meaning of Christmas.

Lena Markham has just been released from prison after spending eight years behind bars for a crime she didn't commit. Now, she is trying to start her life over again, in New Haven, Minnesota, far away from those who knew her in her former life. With hardly a cent to her name and wondering how she will survive, she lands a job as Mrs. Santa Claus, at Harrington's Departme
...more
Tamara
CHRISTMAS AT HARRINGTON’S is a delightful read just in time for the holidays.

Lena Markham is ready to make a new start in life, but is society willing to accept her back? After being set-up, wrongly accused, and imprisoned, Lena heads to the small town of New Haven with the address of a boardinghouse and the promise of a job. But she never could have imagined that the job she is offered is to play Mrs. Santa for Harrington’s Department Store. Not exactly what she had in mind, but with no other o
...more
Judy King
The author leans a bit into...well, it's not preaching, it's certainly NOT born again, but she does convey, actually quite well a couple of lessons of forgiveness and love -- and unfortunately those rather stick out roughly from the rest of the well thought out and quite interesting plot (especially given the Christmas genre.)

A woman recently released from jail seeks to find a new life after 8 years on the inside for a crime she didn't commit. Nice combination of factors, a teensy bit overly dr
...more
Dichotomy Girl
2.5 Stars

I read this because I was in the mood for something Christmasy and I'd downloaded it free from Amazon last year. I knew it was going to be preachy, because I am familiar with Melody Carlson from my distant past.

I found it quite naive, and some of the scenes were REALLY hard to believe. (I can't imagine leaving my 6 year old daughter with a stranger I'd just met for any reason), and of course the ending was happy and wrapped up in a perfect little bow, but I think it helped that I expect
...more
Deanne
Christmas at Harringtons is a book that let's you believe in second chances. Lena having been just released from prision. She is feeling devestated but trying to stay motivated. On the bus ride to her new town she meets an older woman whom invites to give her a ride to church. She settles in town in a boarding house and meets a down on her luck woman with a little girl. She helps the woman get a job at the restaurant she first went to when she just got to town. She watches the womans daughter wh ...more
Barb Klein
“Christmas at Harrington’s" by Melody Carlson was a different kind of story than I normally read. The story is about a woman, Helena (Lena) Markham, who has just been paroled from prison. Instead of going home to Indiana, she wants to be far away from her home town and is placed in New Haven, Connecticut where a job awaits her. As she is travelling on the bus, she befriends a nice older woman who provides her with a sandwich and some much needed companionship. Moira talks about her son and his 1 ...more
Shirley Worley
Lena, a former pastor's wife, had been falsely accused of embezzlement and sent to prison. This story begins at her release from the correctional center and follows her struggles to begin life anew. A new town, a new job ... it should be fairly easy to start over, right? At first it appears to be so when she meets several new friends who are willing to look beyond her past and give her a chance. The other people at the boarding house are just as down on their luck as she is and the friendships s ...more
Rachel
This was a great Christmas read! It's a tender short story about fresh starts, redemption, and true holiday spirit. And I love the cover!

Lena is just getting out of an eight year stay in prison after being wrongly accused of embezzlement at her ex-husband's church. Her parents have died while she was in prison and she has no desire to go back to that town. She finds herself in New Haven where a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store. Lena finally thi
...more
Arianna
Christmas at Harrington's was a free Kindle download and I decided to read it a few nights ago when I had insomnia. It actually started out really well and it was interesting that the heroine had been in prison. That's not something you see much in Christian fiction, so I liked that it was a little gritty. But about halfway through the book, it went from kinda edgy to fluffy puppies and rainbows. Everything turned out perfectly and they rode off into the sunset (or something like that). I like m ...more
Jules
I loved this story. I've read a few Christmas books by Melody Carlson, but this is by far my favourite one. I really enjoyed the tale of a woman down on her luck, struggling to start life again outside of prison. The kind people she met along the way brought tears to my eyes. The way everyone helped each other was lovely. This was a wonderful festive tale full of struggle, hope, trust, charity & friendship. This would make a wonderful Christmas film.
Tarissa
Excellent Christmas story! Melody Carlson writes wonderful Christian fiction, and this one met my expectations yet again. And isn't the cover art so beautiful?

Lena Markham, just released from prison, sets out in a new town to make a new name for herself. The plan is to get a job at Harrington's. It's Christmastime, and spectacular things happen often at that time of year. A few unexpected lives cross paths with Lena's, and before she knows it, she's on a different path than the one she intended.
...more
Stacy
A cute Christmas story I got free for my Kindle. I've read two other Melody Carlson Christmas books in the past (I own "The Christmas Dog" and "The Christmas Bus") and I probably enjoyed this one as much or more. I love reading these short, easy, seasonal books this time of year.
Jen - ReadingwithPugs
This was a lovely Christmas story. It was full of towns people you got to know and love and how the true spirit of Christmas can change a persons life if they don't give up. I will definitely be reading more of Melody Carson's books!
Lauralee Bliss
I really enjoyed this book and Melody's writing style. A book about second chances, the reader is drawn into the life of the main character and her journey through difficult times to God's redemption.
Toledo (T.J.)
This book had a nice twist since the lead character was a woman who had just gotten out of prison and starting fresh in a new town. Nicely done.
Paula
Book about lady just released from prison, trying to start a new life. I couldn't put book down, had to keep reading. Enjoyable Christmas read!
NancyInWI
Pleasant but predictable Christmas tale
Typical Melody Carlson.
Joy Gerbode
This was a very good book ... nice holiday story, very inspirational.
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Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of over two hundred books, several of them Christmas novellas from Revell, including her much-loved and bestselling book, The Christmas Bus.

She also writes many teen books, including the Diary of a Teenage Girl series, the TrueColors series, and the Carter House Girls series.

Melody was nominated for a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award in the inspi
...more
More about Melody Carlson...
Becoming Me (Diary of a Teenage Girl: Caitlin, #1) Dark Blue: Color Me Lonely (TrueColors, #1) Blade Silver: Color Me Scarred (TrueColors, #7) The Christmas Bus It's My Life (Diary of a Teenage Girl: Caitlin, #2)

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