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A Lowcountry Christmas

(Lowcountry Summer #5)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,781 ratings  ·  338 reviews
A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds.

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your broth
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Gallery Books
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Debra I sure he does someday, but not in the pages of this book.

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A Lowcountry Christmas by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2016 Gallery Books publication.

You will want to have a box of tissue close by when you read this one! I promise you, it will touch you right down to your very soul.

As a special bonus, fans of this series will have a chance to touch base with their favorite characters, which brought a big smile to my face.

The author has also included a few recipes from the famed ‘Queen of Southern Cooking’, Nathalie Dupree!

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with this b
I've loved the Lowcountry Summer series by Mary Alice Monroe, and what a wonderful early Christmas surprise to be presented with a #5 in the series - A Lowcountry Christmas.

It was everything I love in a story and it was just so good to go back in Taylor's life to when he first was discharged from the Marines, after experiencing a terrible explosion that left him shattered and suffering from PTSD. He can't cope with returning to his family for Christmas, finds crowds threatening, and his family a
Judy D Collins
A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

2016 Best Southern Holiday Book

Southern master storyteller Mary Alice Monroe returns following A LowCountry Wedding with A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS featuring Taylor McClellan, a character from previous books. A wounded warrior revisits the past, a broken man, and his journey to the present and future.

A heartwarming holiday tale of family and the true meaning of Christmas-scattered with some humor and
Patricia Williams
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good, quick read, Christmas story. A lot to do with "A Christmas Carol", two characters in the book were reading the book and there was a play. Quotes from the book at the beginning of every chapter. This book involved a lot of my favorite things: Christmas, wonderful dogs and a Marine. So, it's a good Christmas story with a happy ending about a Marine and his therapy dog. Definitely recommend if you would like a quick and easy Christmas read. This book was a gift and I really enjoyed it.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
While this is the fifth novel, the story focuses on the McClellan family sharing events of one particular Christmas. It isn't necessary to read the previous books. Although admittedly I would now like to learn more about others within this South Carolina coastal community.

Monroe shares the tale from several narratives. We begin with Taylor celebrating the holidays and reflecting on events that occurred five Christmases ago. We then get perspectives from ten-year-old Miller McClellan as he shares
If you're looking for a Christmas novel that centers around family, and is character/thematic driven with a healthy dose of realistic conflict and meaningful substance - A Lowcountry Christmas just might be your next delightful good read. It certainly was a wonderful reading experience for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Life isn't always a magical experience - Christmastime or not - but it can always be meaningful and hopeful, despite life's storms.

One of the best Christmastime novels I've read i
Pam Jenoff
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let's ring in the holiday with a beloved Christmas favorite. Monroe writes of a young boy, Miller, whose family has little but is blessed by the return of his older brother from war with his service dog. When Miller becomes lost in the woods on Christmas Eve, the family struggles to repair their fractured bonds and save him. Truly memorable.
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Please note that I gave this book 3.5 stars, but rounded it to 4 stars on Goodreads.

I read this for the Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season.

Please do not read unless you have read all of the books in the series.

I have been reading the Lowcountry Summer books for years. There were some ups and downs. Ultimately I thought the stories involving the Muir family were good. This newest book focuses on Taylor McClellan, Harper's husband. I think the idea behind the book was good (takes a very good look
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once in a rare while, a holiday book appears which you know will live on in your memory forever. Mary Alice Monroe's A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS is such a book.

This was on my "to read" list, but it didn't hold a place of prominence. If I got around to it, fine; if I didn't, so be it. But a call from a trusted friend caused me to move it to the top and I'm awfully glad I did.

Here's the necessarily perfunctory annotation from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. It's
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
This novel was predictable from the start. While it does expound on the PTSD the returning soldiers can suffer from, there is not much of a plot or character development. Trite at times and sappy at others, it misses the mark.
Jessica Jones
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I liked how A Lowcountry Christmas was written, and the outcome of the story. I always like happy endings and this was an incredible story about the strength of family and coming together to over come trauma.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
MAM never fails to amaze me with her writing. She is one of my favorite SC authors and my favorite storyteller-a storyteller is quite different from an author. Storytellers keep your attention with the twists and turns of the tale they are weaving. After reading each MAM book, I always say it's my favorite, but this time it's the truth! MAM's tale grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go. She sends you through a barrage of emotions-you will laugh, you will cry, you will cheer, you wil ...more
Nov 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of meeting Monroe as she signed my copy of this book and I listened attentively as she spoke passionately about the story. After reading the book, I can see why.
Monroe created memorable, relatable, passionate characters that remind the reader of their own family. Granted, this is not your typical "Hallmark Christmas Movie" Christmas story. Nope, it contains heartache, a few tears, meaningful arguments and a sad little boy. Tear-jerking? A bit, but readers will be more than del
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
A Lowcountry Christmas is book 5 in the Lowcountry Summer series but instead of being a continuation of the story, it's a prequel and can be read as a stand-alone without any confusion.

I love Mary Alice Monroe's books and I really enjoyed this series so I was thrilled that there would be another book in the series. This is Taylor's story about his life before he married Harper. When Taylor returned from Afghanistan, he had PTSD and couldn't cope with life. His younger brother was afraid of him a
Sherri Thacker
Dec 15, 2016 rated it liked it
I haven't read the other in the series so maybe that's why I don't love this book??
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought I would make it through this Christmas novel without crying....NOPE! I was trying to lighten up my reading with heart warming books celebrating the season. I read the summary of this story and wasn't sure if it was going to be a "light read," and although it was an eye opener, it was a wonderfully heart warming story as well. PTSD is really a difficult condition too many of our veterans deal with everyday. I felt the author did a great job illustrating how we can better understand what ...more
Judy Churchill
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an in depth look at Tayler’s (Parker’s husband’s) PTSD. His homecoming, when no one understood brain injuries and everyone believed he was cured, was a terrifying disaster. His broken bones had healed but he was far from functional. A program pairing vets with service dogs saved Taylor’s life. This is a book everyone should read.
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
this was a very good story about a family who has a marine that has returned from war and is dealing with ptsd. While his physical injuries healed the emotional and mental aspects were much more difficult to bounce back from as well as losing friends in war in combat. In addition to that of course the family has its own issues to deal with his fathers job, his younger brother but in the end the family pulled together and helped each other very well written story.
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book
Annette Theobald
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Liked it much more than I expected! A quick, easy read but it is very sweet and perfect for winter holiday time. Warm fuzzies kind of book- if your in that mood. :)
Anna Lee
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a Blue Star Mother who acted as a touchstone for her son through five deployments and the
aftermath of a returning veteran who had seen way too much. When I heard Mary Alice Monroe was writing a Christmas story about a returning veteran with PTSD I was thankful and fearful.
Thankful that she would honor our veterans with an entire book devoted to bringing an understanding of the effects of PTSD on veterans into the hearts and homes of her readers. Thankful that being a faithful reader of h
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

A Lowcountry Christmas was an incredibly touching story about the McClellan family’s struggles during one of the toughest holiday seasons they had ever endured. A classic Dickens novel, a brave and loyal service dog, and the love of their community ultimately helped the family find the true meaning of Christmas and strengthen their bond.

Now I’ll be honest in that I haven’t read all of the Lowcountry Summer series yet but I’ve had a great time with those that I have checke
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Taylor McClellan is grateful for his wife, Harper, his home and his family. During this special Christmas, he reflects on his first Christmas at home, after being injured in Afghanistan. Five years ago, Taylor was released from the hospital, yet he knew his brain was still not well. His mother, Jenny, was thrilled to have her son home and wanted to have the best Christmas ever. Miller, Taylor’s younger brother, only wanted a puppy for Christmas. Life had changed drastically for each of the McCle ...more
Elaine Schupp
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As the mother of a soldier who has served four deployments, I approached the reading of this book with trepidation. PTSD is a painful condition for all parties affected and it was only because of Mary Alice Monroe's insight to emotions that I even wanted to read this one. I trusted her not to rip my heart out and she did not let me down. A Lowcountry Christmas continues her tradition of touching our hearts.

"I didn't just feel sad," I complained, not wanting her to diminish my pain. "Mama, my hea
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Mary Alice Monroe describes so brilliantly those details that matter when exploring the inner life of individuals and their most important relationships: family and friends.

I could feel the love and the pain of this mother as she struggles to keep the household running and as she keeps trying to bring happiness and contentment to each member of her family. Taylor especially was endearing to me in his struggle to maintain his self-respect, confidence and image of himself as a defender
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an outstanding story! I feel privileged to have been able to read this beautifully written Christmas-themed book concerning a family trying to get past their own worries, disappointments, and heartaches so that they can get to the joy of a merry Christmas. What better support can an author portray than a Pets for Vets service dog that comes into the picture to help traumatized Taylor get past his PTSD. Quotes from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens weave their way into this family's life, ...more
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
I love Christmas books! They are one of my most favorite things ever! They make my heart happy on cold, wintry days before the holiday rush! A Lowcountry Christmas is book five in the Lowcountry Summer series, but it's a prequel and can be read as a stand-alone. I have not read many of the other books in this series and that caused no problems with the readability of the story! It was a feel good story, in an amazing setting with characters that you can relate to. There was something so special ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher for this book win from one of my favorite authors. This series from Mary Alice Monroe is her best in my opinion, and to find out she had one more story to tell- I was thrilled to visit with these sisters again. The most special aspect of a MAM book, to me, is that she always includes an environmental element - where the reader learns something new and experiences a connection to wildlife, which can be unexpected in women's fiction (but it's a great unexpecte ...more
Cindy Feigert
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday-books
If you are looking for a book to end 2016 this is a book you should read. Mary Alice Monroe writes a special tale of love, family and redemption at Christmas time. I love how Dickens Christmas Carol becomes an important character in this book. If you have read this author's other books you know how deeply she cares about her beloved low country of South Carolina and the environment. It seems she has taken on another cause that of our veterans who suffer from PTSD. We owe these people such a debt ...more
Chris Conley
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, what a lovely gift was this book. The story of Miller and his family is a delightful Christmas story of the power of love. As Taylor struggles with his PTSD, his family finds their way back together. I have loved every one of Mary Alice Monroe's books and this one made me so happy that I have found this wonderful author.
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Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels, including On Ocean Boulevard, which is the sixth installment of the Beach House series.

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distinct

Other books in the series

Lowcountry Summer (5 books)
  • The Summer Girls (Lowcountry Summer #1)
  • The Summer Wind (Lowcountry Summer #2)
  • The Summer's End (Lowcountry Summer, #3)
  • A Lowcountry Wedding (Lowcountry Summer, #4)

News & Interviews

You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
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“The tree had become our unspoken symbol of that important Christmas when we had all dug deep and fought for one another--for our survival. For our family. For our happiness. And in the process, discovering the true meaning of Christmas.” 3 likes
“This dog had shown more courage than I. This great, powerful, beautiful dog was willing to take a chance on me - a broken, depressed, lonely Marine.” 3 likes
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