Book review: The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

I love lighthearted and uplifting books in general, but especially during the Christmas season.

When I had the chance to read “The Christmas Joy Ride” by Melody Carlson, it sounded like the perfect kind of cheery holiday book.  Thank you to the publisher, Revell, for providing a free copy of this book to facilitate my honest review.

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This novella captures the Christmas spirit, following an unlikely pair who spread Christmas cheer as they travel the country in a merry RV.

After losing her job and being left by her husband, Miranda is facing foreclosure on her home.  Meanwhile her 85-year-old neighbor, Joy, has decided to drive her old RV from Chicago to her new retirement home in Phoenix just in time for Christmas.

Miranda decides to accompany Joy on the Christmas joy ride she has planned.  Along the way, she finds herself helping with the special stops Joy has organized to bring holiday cheer to deserving folks along Route 66.

“The Christmas Joy Ride” is a fun-loving book that takes the reader along for an enjoyable ride as the characters sweeten the Christmas season for those they meet.

This is classified as a Christian book, but the Christian themes are subtle.  Since this book is from a Christian publisher, I did think the characters could have been more deliberate in sharing the true meaning of the Christmas season (Jesus) with others as they went along their adventure.  Instead, their interactions focus more on holiday traditions like food and decorations.  However, they’re living out the spirit of Christian charity by giving to others throughout their adventure.

Although they are focused on doing good deed for others, the characters aren’t one-dimensional.  Miranda’s flaws are apparent in some of her interactions in the situations they encounter.  We see the characters redeem the situations, and ultimately the characters are likeable – particularly Joy with her generous plan to make the most of her move to the retirement community.

Some of the situations in this book aren’t altogether believable, but is a fun look at an unusual Christmas vacation!

The Christmas Joy Ride is available at Amazon (affiliate link).

Thank you to the Revell Reads program for providing a free copy
of “The Christmas Joy Ride” to facilitate my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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