The Noel Stranger by Richard Paul Evans.
I read several books by Evans and liked the Walk series the most. Evans is also known for his Christmas books. The Noel Stranger is the second in the Noel collection. It’s not easy to classify this novel. I wouldn’t call it inspirational like the Walk series. It is romance, except nowadays romance tends to involve a lot of sex. This one is G-rated. I guess it’s like Debbie Macomber (see here).
Maggie Walther feels like her world is imploding. Publicly humiliated after her husband, a local councilman, is arrested for bigamy, and her subsequent divorce, she has isolated herself from the world. When her only friend insists that Maggie climb out of her hole, and embrace the season to get her out of her funk, Maggie decides to put up a Christmas tree and heads off to buy one—albeit reluctantly. She is immediately taken by Andrew, the kind, handsome man who owns the Christmas tree lot and delivers her tree. She soon learns that Andrew is single and new to her city and, like her, is also starting his life anew.
As their friendship develops, Maggie slowly begins to trust again—something she never thought possible. Then, just when she thinks she has finally found happiness, she discovers a dark secret from Andrew’s past. Is there more to this stranger’s truth than meets the eye?
This story is a bit out there. While I believe in “love at first sight,” I do think most people like to be a little more cautious nowadays. Given Maggie’s past (what with her husband’s betrayal and her daddy’s issue), would she really take off to another country with a man she barely knows? I suppose it’s possible–kind of like someone behaving totally out of character while grieving.
That aside, the story doesn’t seem to be as engaging as most of his other ones. It does touch on forgiveness and redemption. It is still a good Christmas novel–neighbors who show kindness while dealing with their own tragedy; someone who delivers meals to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving.
I’ll still read his next Noel novel–just hope it’ll be a better one.Thanks for reading! Let's keep in touch. Just one click to follow me: