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The Christmas Town

(Christmas Hope #8)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,968 ratings  ·  367 reviews
Donna VanLiere, New York Times bestselling author of the timeless The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope, is back with this moving and uplifting story about finding love, hope, and family in unexpected places.

Lauren Gabriel spent many years of her childhood in foster homes, wishing her mother would come back for her and be the family she needs. Now twenty-years-old,
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,968 ratings  ·  367 reviews

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Deanne Patterson
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-copy
This is one book that will stay with you for a long time. Shows how much we take for granted in our hurry up world. I dare you not to fall in love with Ben's kindness . This is a magical story of second chances.
Oh what a delightful Christmas novel/novella celebrating newfound friendship and family. In which 'family' need not always be comprised of blood born kin to be eternally fulfilling and unifying. Sometimes our strongest bonds come from friendships we build along the path of life - both the beaten path and the road less traveled; and even in times when we find ourselves lost in the ditch of self-pity and desperation, we just might find a friend or two who welcomes us into their family.

Light enough
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Once again, Glory's Place is featured front and center with all its wonderful cast of characters, especially Glory and Miriam. Lauren, a 20 year old who has bounced from foster home to foster home until she aged out at 18, feels like she has never had a family of her own. When she witnesses a hit and run car accident and stays to provide information to the police, she connects with the lady who is driving the car. This, in turns, leads her to Glory's Place to help out the children there. Will ...more
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Such a beautiful story ! I fell in love with the characters....Lauren, Ben, Miriam, Gloria, the children...

It was exactly what I needed to read today, exactly what I have been looking for the last couple of weeks - a big warm fuzzy that I can escape into and feel completely absorbed - where the characters feel like friends - a story that does all of this with easy comfortable writing. This book swept me away !

I say that I was looking for a book like this - and I was - but I didn't expect it to
Louise Wilson
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lauren Gabriel has been in many foster homes and now all she wants is to spend Christmas with a family. She puts a post on the Internet hoping that she will get a reply.

Filled with lovely characters especially Ben who writes lovely messages to put in the customers bags he packs at the checkouts.

This novella is a typical heart warming Christmas story that makes you feel good from beginning to end.

I would like to thank NetGalley, St Martins Press and the author Donna VanLiere for my ARC in
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a very sweet, charming and heart warming read. I finished reading and could feel that goofy grin on my face from being happy for all the wonderful characters. I love how Donna VanLier can take several characters and plots and tie them together so smoothly, by the end of her stories. Oh, and just look at the cover. Isn't it just the most nostalgic Christmas cover you have seen all year? I love it.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Good, but not my favorite in this series.
However, I loved catching up with the recurring characters- especially Gloria and Miriam who had me laughing out loud.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Christmas Town by Donna VanLiere is a novel that will linger with you long after you finish reading it. The novel starts in November of 2010. Lauren Gabriel (20) gets off work from Gordon’s Grocery in Whitall where she is a check-out clerk. She does not wish to go home and deal with her roommate. Lauren decides to take a drive and ends up about an hour away in Grandon. She stops at Clauson’s to get something to eat when she realizes she has not had anything to eat in a while. Lauren heads ...more
The Christmas Town is a heartwarming Christmas story of someone - Lauren, who has really never experienced the love and warmth of family at Christmas, until one fateful year when she stumbles into a town that seems to have the spirit of Christmas wrapped about it.

The people of the town are varied and not perfect. But they are caring and thoughtful and they want to reach out to others. Especially Miriam and Gloria who when they hear of a young woman looking for a family for Christmas decide to do
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Sweet Christmas novel about a young woman primarily raised in the foster care system. Ben was a fabulous example of showing the light of Christ.
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Christmas Town is a stand alone novel by Donna Vanliere. It's the first book I have read of hers, but I am sure it won't be my last.

This is the story of Lauren Gabriel. She has spent many years in and out of foster care and at 20 years old she has never felt the true warmth of family. She's never enjoyed a proper family Christmas. This story is set just before Christmas and starts with Lauren feeling particularly jaded after a long shift in work. Everybody seems to be looking forward to
Terri Wino
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-2016
I'm going to round this one up to 4 stars because I just loved the characters in this book.

This is a quick read (the reason it took me so long is I was reading it as my secondary book that I only read from a few pages each day). Is it saccharine sweet in parts? Yes. Is it totally predictable in parts? Yes. But I didn't care. It's a wonderful, heart-warming story about people entering each other's lives just when they're needed with the old God works in mysterious ways thread. Did it make my eye
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Another heartwarming Christmas story by VanLiere. I look forward to her new Christmas book each year. Glad to return to Glory's Place with characters we've met before but many others too. A heartwarming story that has Christmas front and center along with a small town and people caring!

Lauren has had a hard life - abandoned by her parents and living in several different foster homes. She's a cashier in the town she grew up in but doesn't feel any type of connections to anyone - not even her
Susan Snodgrass
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Donna Vanliere has the ability to reduce her readers to tears in her books. I love her Christmas books. Actuallly, all her books are pretty great!! Don't miss reading this year's Donna Vanliere Christmas book!

*I was given a preview copy of this book by Net Galley. All opinions are my own.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a beautiful Christmas tale by Donna VanLiere!!! I highly recommend :)
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
A sweet and charming Yuletide read. Perfect for the holiday season.
Joseph Sciuto
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"The Christmas Town" By Donna VanLiere is a wholesome and cheerful story about a young lady, Lauren, who has lived with differentfoster families throughout her life but has never really had a family she could her own, especially not at Christmas. She works at a grocerystore as a cashier and one night before going back to her apartment, which she shares with a roommate, she decides to drive to the next town which is about an hour away. At astop light, she witnesses a hit and run and calls 911.

Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"My life is the same." Always the same...

Synthesizing this one is the existential condition in which the main protagonist of the latest Christmas novel by Donna VanLiere is living in.

The Christmas Town will be released published by St.Martin's Press on Oct 18th.

Lauren Gabriel, the protagonist (who knows if the last name Gabriel chosen by the author in honor of the archangel Gabriel?) is a cashier in a store.

She is just 20 but her life has known a lot of sufferance during all her still brief
Olga Miret
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A delightful story about a place we’d all like to call home My review is based on a free advance copy from St Martin’s Press via NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion or the review content.
OK, I’m not a big fan of Christmas. There, I’ve said it. The fuss, the mad rush to buy presents, the obligation to be happy… But there are certain things about Christmas I don’t mind, like the crafts fairs that pop up everywhere, some of the songs (although not when played continuously 24/7) or the books
Jennifer Ritter
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Christmas Town is by premier author of Christmas stories, Donna VanLiere. Many of her Christmas stories have been turned into movies and I can definitely see that happening with The Christmas Town.

Twenty year old Lauren Gabriel has not had an easy life. First her father left, then her mother was incarcerated, leaving Lauren's upbringing to the foster system. Although she did have some good placements, it was never a family of her own and she had no sense of belonging. With few skills, Lauren
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have not read any of Donna VanLiere's books, you need too. Her books will bring tears to your eyes but they will also put a smile on your face. My favorite is still The Christmas Shoes!

Lauren Gabriel is a lonely young woman who has never had a real family. Her father ran away and her mother was never a real mother to her. Having grown up in foster homes Lauren feels the need for a real family this Christmas.

As Lauren drives through the small town of Grandon she witnesses a hit and run
Lauren, a twenty-years-old girl, places an ad on Craiglist, stating she is looking for a family to spend Christmas with. She is expecting this Christmas to be different from the previous years, which she celebrated either with foster parents or alone at her apartment. She never thought a long drive to the next town could bring so many changes in her life. Lauren becomes a part of the town sooner than she realises.

It made me smile and also brought tears to my eyes. THE CHRISTMAS TOWN is an
Cathy Geha
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This sweet, charming, small town, feel good Christmas story is about finding home and family. Lauren Gabriel has spent much of her life in foster homes and at twenty is feeling the need for the family warmth and community that she has never experienced. One night she witnesses a hit and run accident and it changes her life. Becoming involved in the fundraiser for an NGO that caters to the needy she begins to meet and make friends with a great number of people in town and in so doing eventually ...more
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I love the way Donna VanLiere writes. I believe that she has a flare for minute subtleties that add to the ambience without being a part of the plot. She makes you feel like you are in the room watching the show.

In this book, however, I felt like I was chasing a carrot on a string......yikes!!! As soon as I touched the carrot, it was ripped from my hand. It became tiresome and trite to say the least.

I like carrots, and strings are okay, but just not in a storyline.....
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas, favorite
This is one of those books that just makes you smile inside and out and feel good about people. At leat it did that for me.

It's the story of a 20yr old girl looking for someone to be a family with her for the holidays. It's a sincere wish and leads her into the paths of many nice people. I loved the principle of the book and was happy to have read this.
Jeanann Barrett
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. Good story.
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Heartwarming Hallmark-Style Holiday Stories
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" The Christmas Town is yet another charming holiday story in Donna VanLiere’s Christmas Hope series that’s set in the little fictional town of Grandon, Anywhere USA. In this one a young woman is searching for a family and a place she can truly call home, and through a series of serendipitous events, she discovers that what she’s been searching for is right in front of her. Add in a few cute kids, a couple of past series’ characters, and an intuitive bag boy
Jun 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Public library copy. Quick clean inspirational read. The writing leaves much to be desired, as does the lack of theology, or more directly the lack of Biblical information. To this reader the omissions were direct attempts to appeal to a broad audience with differing beliefs. In some cases, specifically in reference to the meaning (or lack thereof) of Christmas, or the 'Christmas spirit', it was downright offensive to the Biblical account.

A novella is difficult reading because the characters
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Christmas Town: A Novel by [VanLiere, Donna]I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This is a joyful story. It is filled with love, and family, each which were found expectantly.

Lauren Gabriel spent most of her life wishing for her mother to come and get her from each of the foster homes she lived in. She is now 20 years old and still looking for the ever elusive home. She is a cashier and feels like another Christmas is not what she needs. Trying to avoid her
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was looking for an uplifting, not overly sappy Christmas story and was hoping this might fit the bill. Unfortunately, it didn't hold my interest as it seemed uneven and rambling. The main character is weak, then seems to buck up a little, then again becomes weepy & withdrawn, then steps up again, and so on. The charming small town characters are Hallmark perfect - which is okay for those that simply want a feel-good story. I guess I'm looking for an innovative holiday story, but so far ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #5 - The Christmas Town 1 2 Jan 10, 2017 06:52AM  

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Donna is a New York Timesand USA Todaybest-selling author. She's an in-demand conference speaker and gifted teacher and has 14 published books including four that have been adapted into movies.

Donna is the recipient of multiple industry awards including a Retailer's Choice Award for Fiction, a Dove Award, a Silver Angel Award, two Audie Awardsfor best inspirational fiction, a nominee for a Gold

Other books in the series

Christmas Hope (9 books)
  • The Christmas Shoes (Christmas Hope #1)
  • The Christmas Blessing (Christmas Hope, #2)
  • The Christmas Hope (Christmas Hope, #3)
  • The Christmas Promise (Christmas Hope, #4)
  • The Christmas Secret (Christmas Hope, #5)
  • The Christmas Note (Christmas Hope #6)
  • The Christmas Light (Christmas Hope #7)
  • The Christmas Star (Christmas Hope #9)
“Some things may never change but other things can be so completely different that they make the things that don't change bearable.” 2 likes
“Christmas isn't a parade or concert but a piece of home you keep in your heart wherever you go.” 2 likes
More quotes…