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Christmas at Harrington's

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  3,446 Ratings  ·  416 Reviews
A woman down on her luck finds a new start at Christmastime in this warm, contemporary story by a much-loved novelist.
ebook, 136 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
It took me a few chapters to really get into this, and it needed another chapter at the end; the ending was hurried. But it's a heartwarming little tale of a woman, newly released from prison, trying to get a fresh start in a new town.
Nov 13, 2010 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Dec 04, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Giovanni Gelati
Nov 17, 2010 Giovanni Gelati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 03, 2014 Deanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
Nov 15, 2010 Molly (Cafinated Reads) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Molly (Cafinated Reads) 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
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
Jul 08, 2015 Nora St Laurent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 21, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lena Markham, a 40 something middle aged woman has just been released from prison. She does not want to go home, there's really nothing there for her so she decides to relocate. While on the bus to her new home, she meets an older woman who lives where she is going and they become friends. Lena gets a room in a boarding house and meets a young mother with a 6 year old daughter. Sally needs to work so Lena offers to babysit Jamima until she gets her own job.

This is another heartwarming story by M
Oct 15, 2015 Cecelia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartwarming tale that involves a falsely accused woman, a little girl (Jemima), and an older woman, Moira, who seeks friendship with Lena and has the uncanny sense of knowing that Lena’s been through a lot of heartbreak. I highly recommend this book if you want a good Christian story to read during the holidays.

The only concern I had about this story is that I felt that there were a few loose ends that were left hanging with some of the secondary characters. But this is minor, and doe
Dec 18, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every year at this time, I read at least one Christmas novel. If you do the same, add this one to your list! It's an easy read with a little substance. It's not sappy or over-simplified, but tells the story of redemption in a real life setting. The author does a good job of pointing out the difference between people of faith and merely religious people, perhaps without meaning to. I see Ms. Carlson has written a few other Christmas novels; I will definitely be looking for them.
Dec 20, 2015 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
A Sweet Story

If you are looking for a quick Christmas read, look no further. Melody Carlson has composed a story of redemption nestled in the small fictional town of New Haven. The characters are believable and the story is realistic. Yet the outcome is one that will surprise and delight readers from young adults to mature folks!
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.
Darla Damron
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written and a heart warming story. It held my attention and it was very hard to put down.
Elizabeth Ray
Every year, I like to read one of Melody Carlson's little Christmas novels to help me get in the spirit of the season. In this one, Lena was falsely accused of embezzlement and sent to prison. Nobody believed she was innocent. Years later, she is released and trying to start over in the little town of New Haven. She gets a job as Mrs. Claus, but her past is revealed and publicized to the entire town! Can she ever get a fresh start?

I thought this was a great story premise. It addressed some of th
Dec 16, 2015 Christy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading; so I'm very familiar with the phrase "don't judge a book by its cover." Admittedly, that IS exactly what I did. On the front cover, we see a lady wearing a red coat with white trim, which closely resembles a Santa coat. She is smiling into a store window decorated for Christmas, snow is falling all around her... This Lady's name is Lena Markham and she is new to New Haven.

Christmas is four weeks away and Lena is being released early from prison for a crime she did not commit; s
I actually had high hopes for this novel simply because the cover was so pretty, so it was a bit of a letdown that I didn't love it. I think it felt toooooo predictable. Most of these stories are naturally predictable, you expect that, but Christmas at Harrington's was just too much. A wonderful gal with an abusive father who happened to be a pastor and then she marries another pastor who turns out to be a skeeze, she ends up in jail, released before Christmas, heads to this small town where a k ...more
Jun 17, 2016 Joleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For my 12th Christmas story of the season I read Christmas at Harrington's, by Melody Carolson.

Lena is an ex-pastor's wife, sent to prison for embezzling from the very church she attended. Whether she did it or not you will discover as you read this delightful little book.

This seemed bigger than a novella, so there was a lot more detail and character development, and plot, making it seem more like a book.

I loved it. In fact I came close to giving it a 5 because it kept my interest from the fir
Recently released from prison, Lena Markham is hoping for a fresh start in New Haven, Minnesota where nobody knows her name or is privy to her tarnished past - a past she desperately wishes could be justly rewritten, or at the very least, blotted from her memories. And as she settles into her new life, securing a job at Harrington’s as Mrs. Clause, making new friends, gaining confidence, she begins to believe that life is good, people can be kind, and mistakes can be overlooked and perhaps forgi ...more
Barb Klein
Mar 19, 2014 Barb Klein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Dec 19, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
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
Tamara Tilley
Jan 23, 2016 Tamara Tilley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
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
Shirley Worley
Jun 03, 2016 Shirley Worley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
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
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
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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 about Melody Carlson...

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